RICKY Skerritt said players should not feel disenchanted with Cricket West Indies (CWI), explaining that one player believes he has no chance of representing West Indies again if the Dave Cameron-led administration remains in charge of CWI.
Skerritt is hoping to replace Cameron as president of CWI, and Dr Kishore Shallow wants to unseat Emmanuel Nanton as vice-president at the elections on March 24 in Jamaica.
Over the last few years there have been a number of battles between CWI and players under Cameron. In 2014, the year after Cameron was elected president, West Indies abruptly ended its tour of India over a payment structure dispute between the players, CWI and West Indies Players Association.
After West Indies won the World T20 title in 2016, captain Darren Sammy criticised the lack of support from CWI in a post match interview. Sammy has not represented the West Indies since then.
Skerritt said some players are not confident they will play cricket again for West Indies. The former West Indies manager recalled a discussion he had recently with a player who has been out of West Indies colours but is hopeful of making his return to the regional team.
Skerritt said, “I am not going to call any names, but a player approached me the other day, a former player who was making a joke I think. It is funny, but it is not very funny it is very worrying. He said, ‘I hope you become president so that I could get selected again.’
He feels that he cannot get selected while the present leadership is in place. Now if he is mistaken, just the fact that he has that perception is scary. Presidents and vice-presidents and other administrators should not be scaring players. We don’t have to agree with some of the thoughts that players have and vice versa, but there should be no fear there should be mutual respect.”
Skerritt, who said players challenging administrators is nothing new, believes everyone must trust and respect each other.
“But what we must not do is assume that because a player queries a contract or a player seeks better incomes and other benefits that player suddenly becomes any enemy of the board.
“We need to develop trust, we need to show by our actions and by our decisions that we are concerned about the well-being of players as well as the well-being of cricket and where we need to do awareness building and education with players.