(SNO) — Julian Charles, president of the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA), has gone on the record supporting the return of Dave Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan to the leadership of Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Calling in to the News Spin programme on Real FM, Charles, who is into his 10th year as president of the SLNCA, reiterated his support for the incumbent president and vice president of CWI, saying he saw no need for change.
This comes in the face of a challenge from the ticket of former West Indies team manager and current CWI director, Ricky Skerritt.
Skerritt is running for president, alongside Dr Kishore Shallow, who is currently president of the St Vincent and The Grenadines Cricket Association and a CWI director. Shallow is running for the role of vice president.
Charles, though, has shrugged off the challenge from Skerritt and Shallow, saying that the West Indies team has been doing well, and pointing specifically to the recent Test series win over England.
“I think… in fact, I have no doubt that the investments we have made in the last four to five years are really starting to bear fruit,” he said. “We first saw evidence of that when we won the three World Cups [men’s and women’s T20 and the Under-19 World Cup] three or four years ago . And now we are seeing some real tremendous performances by the West Indies. All along the way, there were little hints, like the West Indies batted the whole day on the fifth day with just 4-5 wickets left overnight to save the match against India in Jamaica.”
Charles, a former Windward Islands cricketer, and the first Saint Lucian to score a first-class hundred, also noted that West Indies have beaten Pakistan in Sharjah, and that the senior team was “holding our own” against Sri Lanka.
He went on to deliver what sounded a great deal like a campaign speech, as he spoke to the success of the CWI franchise system, with over 170 professional players, including 15-20 women, over 200 trained coaches and match referees, a successful collective bargaining agreement, and a solid relationship with the West Indies Players Association, all under Cameron’s watch. According to Charles, “things are really shaping up”.
The Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control, of which Charles is a director, has already refused to meet with Skerritt and Shallow. But, Charles left no doubt as to where his loyalties lie, as he called for retention of the status quo.
“There is no need to change [the leadership of West Indies cricket] now,” said Charles. “I guess everyone can see, even the most ferocious critics can see we are definitely bearing fruit now. And to go in a different direction would not be good.
“In fact, we also know the challenger, because he sits on the West Indies Cricket Board for the last six years or so, so there is nothing new that he is offering. We have seen the management style of the current president, we know Ricky Skerritt as well, and there is really, you know, I don’t think that there is anything refreshingly new. But then, of course, it is everybody’s right, it is a democratic process, it’s everybody’s right to put themselves up.”
Charles, who sits on the CWI Cricket Committee and the Umpires Sub-Committee, was speaking ahead of the first T20 between West Indies and England at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia.
CWI holds elections in Jamaica on March 24.