To be caught in a hail of questions from the media is quite the disconcerting experience, but to put oneself in that position willingly takes a lot of bravery.
The location was the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) boardroom on Regent Street and the event was Anand Sanasie – who is slated to run against incumbent Ricky Skerritt for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidency later this month – placing himself in the ‘hot seat’ as he fielded questions from the media regarding his campaign.
Sanasie declared in addressing his bid, “This time around, I had to go for it, because too many of my colleagues were saying that you have to, because things are getting from bad to worse.
“I served with three Presidents. And every one of them have their unique way of doing things. But over the past two years, I felt that the organisation itself became too centralised in Antigua, to the detriment of the territorial boards, who are the shareholders. I do not think that recent business decisions taken were the wise ones, to take us forward. I’m not seeing new revenue streams been established that can really take us out of the hole that we were in,” Sanasie said, in sharing in brief reasons for his decision to run.
He continued, “I remember the current incumbent usually, when he wasn’t there, would say just check what Guyana is doing and replicate some of that. We don’t hear that these days. But despite our challenges here, we have done reasonably well. And I think that there is enough expertise in the Region, to get it done by ourselves, and we just not doing it.”
When probed about what he brings to the regional cricket table, Sanasie shared that a business-like approach is needed.
Piggy-backing off of this notion, Sanasie shared one instance in which the CWI would have done well with a business-savvy person at the helm.
“When the new president came in, we had forecasted that we would have had a bad year. That is without considering the COVID situation. But we have cash in the bank. And we came out of that year doing well. We had like $11 million in the bank, give or take. One of the foremost decisions taken by the new administration was to pay out a $10 million unsecured loan that your organisation has, now in no business would you not try to negotiate that and not have to pay that amount of cash and thereby putting the organisation in a cash crunch,” Sanasie divulged to media operatives.
He added, “These are only some of the things I’m mentioning what I think what I can bring is a business perspective to the organisation. I believe in invest in a grassroot level, so that you will see the result of any action I will take overnight or two years in a tournament. But I think we need to make tough, unpopular decisions if we want to succeed.”
Sanasie went on to cite another instance of internal CWI turbulence, stating, “Another thing I’m hearing COVID that, COVID this. I will tell you in no uncertain terms COVID saved Cricket West Indies. When we took that bad decision of paying off the bank on an unsecured loan, we were already in a crunch. When we forecasted a bad year, it’s because we had two non-lucrative tours, tours where you spent money and you are nothing.”
He continued, “Then we asked everyone in the organisation to take a 50 per cent pay cut. So, we actually came out of COVID on the positive side of probably seven, eight million dollars.”
On the matter of the local Cricket Administration Act debacle, Sanasie explained that he has his reservations about discussing the issue, but expressed his concern about the sudden urgency.
“I would not like to get into the legal issues, because there are certain mechanisms that have kicked into place because of what has happened. And it will not be ethical for me to speak about them in detail. But you can judge for yourself, the timelines. My nomination was submitted on the 17th of February. And so much happened between the 17th and the 19th. That it was obvious that someone was worried. I’ll say that much.”
Additionally, when asked about including former CWI President Dave Cameron in his administration if elected, Sanasie, who supported Cameron in the last election, disclosed that he has no intention of doing so, but was willing to work along with all past Presidents.