Stronger Regional, grassroots and women’s cricket in Sanasie’s manifesto
Race to CWI Presidency…
Long-standing Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Anand Sanasie, has said he would focus on improving team performance, strengthening regional cricket, and revolutionising grassroots cricket if he becomes the next president of Cricket West Indies at the Annual General Meeting set for March 29.
He has also made a case for improving women’s cricket and expanding the sport into the North American market by stating that now is the time for CWI to adopt more visionary policies.
In a lengthy statement released on Wednesday night, Sanasie outlined the pillars of his manifesto as he formally announced his challenge to the presidency of Ricky Skerritt, who is in the latter stages of the role he won in March 2019 when he unseated then incumbent Dave Cameron.
Sanasie has said his decision to run for the presidency had been a year in the making.
“Over the past year, several directors of CWI, along with many stakeholders across the region, have reached out to me and sought to persuade me that I should consider serving as CWI President. Over the past months, I have given it deep thought and consideration, discussed it with my family and the executives of the Guyana Cricket Board, and today I consider it a distinct honour to announce that I will be contesting the CWI presidency,” Sanasie said in the statement.
“I am equally honoured to also announce that I will be contesting along with a stalwart of West Indies Cricket administration, my colleague Mr Calvin Hope of Barbados. Calvin and I have consulted widely across the region, and out of these consultations we have developed a detailed manifesto which we will be unveiling in the coming weeks.”
Sanasie has identified what he said are the key pillars of that manifesto. “First, we recognise that the performance of the West Indies Team serves as a barometer for the state of West Indies Cricket, and as the only constant in the regional psyche. Therefore, the West Indies Team Performance is one central pillar,” he said.
“Secondly, regional cricket is what supplies and fortifies the West Indies Team. The territorial boards manage the production line of elite players for the West Indies teams. We believe that regional cricket requires greater investment from the CWI level, and will implement a system of greater sponsorship share and larger annual subvention to each territorial board.”
He has also stated that, for there to be any sustained success of the West Indies team, there needs to be a better grassroots programmes across the region.
“Thirdly, he said, regional cricket, and ultimately the West Indies Team, is only as strong as our grassroots cricket programmes. We believe that there needs to be the renewed focus, revitalization, and a revolution in grassroots and school cricket all across the Caribbean.”
Sanasie has also announced plans to return power to the territorial boards, increase support to women’s cricket, and tap into the potential of the massive US market.
“We recognise, critically, that over the past two years, there has been a systematic centralisation of power and decision-making, and the ostracisation and miniaturisation of the territorial boards who are the shareholders of West Indies Cricket, acting on behalf of the people of the Caribbean,” he said.
On women’s cricket, he said: “Our team will place renewed and heavier emphasis on the development of women’s cricket, focusing on girls’ cricket in the form of training, competition and tournaments, camps and succession planning. The West Indies Women’s Team must be consistently among the best in the world, and we will ensure there is a comprehensive, strategic, measurable programme in place to achieve this.”
In regard to tapping into the US market, Sanasie has said:
“Cricket globally is in the throes of rapid transformation from the perception of a lethargic pastime to high-energy, desirable entertainment. West Indies cricket and CWI must be at the forefront of this transformation.
“West Indies Cricket must also meaningfully and purposefully pursue expansion into the vast and lucrative North American market as a critical plank of augmenting and guaranteeing financial stability. This requires a planned, strategic approach, which our Team will pursue with the United States cricket authorities through partnership, collaboration and synergies. The US market is poised for transformative and explosive take-off, and as the leading cricket governing body in this hemisphere, CWI can both partner with, and offer support and guidance to, Cricket USA for our mutual benefit.
“It is not long before T20 cricket and other variations of the shorter game become staples on the US sporting and entertainment calendar.
It is now time for the executive leadership and governance of Cricket West Indies to transition from raw political horse-trading and a centralised hoarding of power to professional, visionary and astute policy-making based on equity, transparency, fairness and demonstrable competence.”