Cricket West Indies presidential candidate Ricky Skerritt and running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow, on Tuesday received major endorsements from legends Clive Lloyd and Sir Andy Roberts, in another major boost to their chances of toppling the Dave Cameron ticket at Sunday’s elections in Jamaica.
This follows last Sunday’s endorsement of the pair by another cricketing great, Sir Vivian Richards, the highly regarded legendary former captain and master batsman.
Charging that West Indies cricket had undergone a “decimation” during the Cameron administration, Lloyd contended that West Indies cricket was in need of a “new direction” and that Skerritt possessed all the qualities to take the game in the Caribbean forward.
“With Mr Skerritt’s experience, my personal knowledge of him and his commitment and dedication to West Indies Cricket over the years, I fully endorse his candidacy and firmly believe that with the support of his board, his vision for taking West Indies Cricket forward will bear fruit,” said Lloyd, also a former West Indies team manager.
“The late former President and West Indies opening batsman, Alan Rae, whom I admired greatly was a formidable President who worked tirelessly using his own funds to keep West Indies Cricket at the top of World Cricket.
“West Indies Cricket was his first priority. He was a very well respected West Indian/Jamaican whom I had the greatest honour and pleasure to work with. His commitment and dedication to West Indies cricket was unquestionable and I believe that Mr Skerritt will emulate those qualities.”
A two-time World Cup-winning skipper and former chairman of selectors, Lloyd pointed to Skerritt’s Cricket First Plan, which he said was “built on inclusiveness, integrity, and development”.
In addition, Skerritt and Shallow have proposed term limits on the office of the president, a move which Lloyd also threw his support behind.
“We need a fixed term period of office for the presidency of three or four years. In America it does not matter how effective or successful you are, you can only serves two terms,” he said.
“By having a rotation policy it inspires other individuals whom are suitably qualified to prepare themselves over a period of time and a chance to aspire to attain such high office also the opportunity to project fresh ideas.
“West Indies Cricket needs a new direction. We have seen the decimation of West Indies Cricket over a long period of time especially under this administration much to the humiliation of the Caribbean Diaspora.”
The outspoken Sir Andy, meanwhile, said Skerritt and Shallow had convinced him they would be unifying figures, and would bring the change so badly required to halt the decline in West Indies cricket.
“Over the last 25 years, West Indies cricket has been steadily declining. In the last [five to 10] years the administration has declined rapidly – so much confusions with players, past and present and West Indian-born coaches,” said Sir Andy, a part of Lloyd’s fearsome pace battery of the 1970s and 80s.
“We need a change at the top, so that is why I’m endorsing Ricky Skerritt and Kishore Shallow as President and Vice-President of our cricket.
“They have assured me that they will work with all relevant stakeholders in the region to make sure they get the best out of the region, so that our cricket can move forward and back to a position of respectability. At the moment it is not there.”
The latest endorsements adds to the groundswell of support for Skerritt and Shallow, who have already gotten the thumbs-up from St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
However, the pair will need to secure at least seven of the 12 votes up for grabs from the six territorial boards, in order to prevent Cameron and vice-president, Emmanuel Nanthan, from securing a fourth straight term.
Already, Barbados, Guyana and Windward Islands have signalled their support for the incumbents, while Trinidad and Tobago and Leeward Islands have backed the challengers.
The Jamaica Cricket Association have said they will hear from both parties before making a decision on who to support.