Wavell Hinds, president and CEO of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), says he is looking forward to a fruitful relationship with newly elected Cricket West Indies (CWI) p resident Ricky Skerritt, in a continued effort to ensure that the well-being of players is taken care of.
Hinds made the declaration while congratulating Skerritt and his vice-president Dr Kishore Shallow, who unseated Jamaican Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and his vice-president and running mate, Emmanuel Nanthan 8-4 in the elections on Sunday.
The 62-year-old Skerritt, a former St Kitts and Nevis tourism minister, will guide the association over the next two years.
Having seemingly enjoyed a fruitful working relationship with the previous administration, Hinds also lauded the contribution of Cameron and Nanthan during their three consecutive terms in office, dating back to 2013.
“We want to say thanks from a players’ association standpoint to former president Cameron and former VP Nanthan, and to welcome and congratulate president Skerritt and vice-president Shallow. It’s a new role, it’s a very big task; the challenges that face West Indies Cricket internally and externally are great and they have a big job to take on.
“WIPA is here to try to make sure that [what] we do from a players’ perspective is aligned to the objectives of Cricket West Indies in trying to be the best team in the world. I would imagine that without even asking,” Hinds told reporters shortly after the electoral process at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
“So from a players’ association standpoint, we are pretty much in agreement with a democratic process, and we are looking forward to working with the persons who are there. But we also are respectful of the fact that contributions have been made by former president Cameron and vice-president Nanthan, and so I want to tell them thanks and wish them all the best in their future endeavours,” he added.
The election was expected to be a nail-biting one with the possibility of both candidates ending up in a dead heat.
Prior to Sunday’s votes Cameron secured the nominations of Barbados, Guyana, and the Windward Islands, and that ensured him of six votes; while Skerritt had the backing of Trinidad and Tobago, the Leeward Islands and Jamaica, assuring him of four votes.
However, by the turn of events Cameron’s allies had a late change of heart, as he lost two votes to Skerritt.
Hinds, a former Jamaica and West Indies batsman who was once a representative of the Kensington Cricket Club of which Cameron is president, was diplomatic in his response to the outcome.
“I don’t know what took place within the offices or the boardroom of the JCA (Jamaica Cricket Association). The votes were taken by secret ballots, so I can’t know if they voted for [Cameron] or against,” he declared.
“It is a democratic organisation and I think today is another symbol that there is a democratic process that goes on. West Indies Cricket belongs to the entire Caribbean, and no one is above the rules or the guidelines of Cricket West Indies.
“I don’t know what happened in the West Indies boardroom of the six different member boards, they are the six shareholders… I was not a part of what they do, so I would have no knowledge as to what they do or did not do. What I was interested in is to make sure that the process is fair,” Hinds emphasised.
With that said, Hinds reaffirmed his commitment to hold the CWI leadership accountable in ensuring that the players are always included in the effort to push West Indies cricket forward.
“As a special member of Cricket West Indies, we sat in the room to make sure that the persons who are in the chair understand the mammoth task that comes with it (the presidential post) and how important the players are, if not the most important assets.
“And [to let leadership know] that they (the players) are to be considered in whatever deliberation goes on, and to involve the players and their well-being front and centre, in terms of how they execute on the playing field,” Hinds ended. (Jamaica Observer)