Cricket West Indies president outlines new ‘Cricket First’ mantra

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Cricket West Indies president, Ricky Skerritt

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies president, Ricky Skerritt, at a news conference Thursday in Antigua and Barbuda, outlined his strategic decisions designed to bring back that sense of pride and aspiration to West Indian cricket in the appointment of Floyd Reifer to interim positions of head coach and Robert Haynes chairman of the selection panel. Captain Jason Holder was retained for the one-day International series next month in Ireland, ahead of the World Cup.

“Our strategic decisions,” said Skerritt, “are designed to bring back that sense of pride and aspiration to West Indian cricket, adding, “in order to achieve a renewed sense of purpose and excellence, difficult choices and challenging decisions have been made. This is a calculated strategic move designed to reignite the passion for our culture – A West Indian culture where our cricket is being put back where it belongs, at the very centre.”

“All of our decisions are guided by a ‘Cricket First’ mantra. In order to do so, we have found it necessary to immediately adjust our selection policy to become more open, inclusive and player-centric. I am therefore pleased to confirm that we have terminated the old embedded selection policy which secretly, but actively, victimised some players and banished them from selection consideration.

“I remind you that in our ten-point plan Dr Shallow and myself promised to re-evaluate the system of team selections. In that vein, our board of directors have agreed to set up a task force to undertake a comprehensive review of the system of selection to identify the best possible practices that can lead to the best outcomes. We expect that this review will be carried out over the next three months,” he continued.

Skerritt’s strategy for West Indies cricket is designed around a ‘Cricket First’ plan in the “utilisation of regional expertise” that includes “developing and exposing regional expertise in coaching is a high priority for the future of our cricket” and to “ensure that we could put the best available players on the field.”

“Our landmark decision… is, therefore, a clear indicator of the seriousness of our West Indian first policy and represents our commitment to celebrating the best of what it means to be West Indian. This decision also underscores the need for fresh thinking, and an even more urgent need to embrace the new inclusive selection policy,” Skerritt emphasised.

Amid change, Skerritt stated, “what we are now enforcing ahead of the upcoming World Cup is a new approach to strategic thinking while reviving authentic West Indian team spirit.

“When our cricket teams and gifted individuals showcase excellence on a world stage, we walk taller as a people, and we beam with pride as we look at our own young West Indians face up with confidence and God-given talent to the best competition from across our globe.”

These “calculated strategic moves are more beneficial for our cricket culture,” and “underscores the need for fresh thinking and the introduction on fresh new talent.”

Cricket West Indies is preparing for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England and Wales and the Windies’ home series against India in July/August.

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