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Not a bad first year

Not a bad first year

One year since coming into office, vice-president of Cricket West Indies Dr Kishore Shallow says the Ricky Skerritt administration has “made some progress.”

Speaking on the “Mason and Guest” programme on the Voice of Barbados Tuesday, Dr Shallow acknowledged that, “It is difficult, there are challenges, of course.” But he added that, “West Indies cricket over the years, we have had quite a few hurdles that we have to jump over and climb, and bearing all that in mind, I think we have done a fairly good job over the last 12 months.”

Asked how much of the ten-point plan on which he and Skerritt campaigned he felt had been covered in the first year, Shallow said, “we have touched on at least all of these points.”

In particular, he pointed to the “cricket first” focus of the administration.

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“When you look at the creation of the cricket-centric environment, what we have said is that we are moving players to the top of the priority ladder, and we have been able to do so; also, creating a four-year cricket calendar which I suspect would be affected now by the current COVID virus – but we have that guide to work with. Also, we have aligned our strategic plan with a cricket-centric environment.

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“We talk about the optimum use of technology where we have been using Zoom, the Internet generally, to facilitate meetings and reducing our expenses, being more cost-effective, and we have a selection analyst being more analytical.”

Shallow also pointed to the efforts that have been made to improve the quality of coaching in the region.

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“Modernisation of the coaching system. That is an area that we believe must be addressed at the youth level go right up to the senior level and so we have recruited a coaching educator, a specialist in developing coaching, Chris (Brabazon) out of Australia and he has been on the ground now for a few months and has been making some progress so far, and we can go on and on,” he said.

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Dr Shallow also pointed to the selection process: “We talk about the revamping of the selection system and I think that is one of the many successes that we have had where we have seen players increase (their) confidence in our system and players believe that they are now selected more on merit and are putting up their hands more on merit as Jermaine Blackwood has done, as Hayden Walsh and…Brandon King have done in CPL, so the work continues and we are fully, fully committed to doing what the affiliates have voted us to do.”

Dr Shallow also claimed progress was being made with the “West Indies first” policy

“We have brought back Phil Simmons as our head coach; we have involved persons like Floyd Reifer, Kenny Benjamin, Gus Logie…One of the things that persons don’t realise is that last year when we hosted a few camps of our West Indies senior men’s team, we included persons like Joel Garner, Ronnie Sarwan and Brian Lara to meet with players and talk to them, so we continue to address all the items on our ten-point plan. We are using this as a guide to ensure that we keep performing.”

Looking ahead to the second year, Dr Shallow said: “We have been struggling as a team in terms of our performance for some time now and Ricky and myself and other directors, management, we are not thinking in any way that we are going to change the fortunes overnight and realistically, we won’t. What we are hoping is for incremental improvement and just getting the commitment from players to play for West Indies, the fitness improvement over the period. Those are the incremental successes that I believe shows that we are on the right path. And that is how we are going about measuring our performance as a leadership group.”