Strengthening cricket at the territorial level, building a sustainable brand and developing talent, are all part of Calvin Hope’s action plan once successful in his bid to become the next vice-president of Cricket West Indies (CWI).
The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for March 29 and Hope, the Barbados Cricket Association vice-president since 2017, says there are glaring issues in West Indies cricket that need to be addressed.
“At the territorial level, there needs to be a focus on building and strengthening sustainably, the development of the talent. From school to club level, straight up to the franchise teams, spectatorship. Where is the strategy for energizing and waking up the giant enthusiasm of our people in cricket?” Hope surmised, as he spoke to Barbados TODAY.
A veteran cricket administrator with over 20 years’ experience, Hope and his running mate, long-standing secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Anand Sanasie, announced earlier this week that they will take on the incumbent Ricky Skerritt (CWI president) and Dr Kishore Shallow (CWI vice-president). In outlining some of the challenges currently facing West Indies cricket, Hope said: “Parents, the influencers of young people to help encourage young girls to be interested in cricket, to increase the enthusiasm and interest of young boys from primary school level. There is no approach to that.
“We had a Kiddies’ Cricket program that has fallen flat because of the lack of sponsorship but no effort has been made to even try, to even discuss how we can get that back on track or put something back in place with territories. No discussion with the territories on that.”
Therefore, to bring about positive change to those issues and to get regional cricket back on track, Hope outlined how he along with Sanasie intends to tackle those problems.
“The promotion of cricket at the territorial level, at all levels of cricket in the territories. The promotion of it, the support for plans of the individual territories in their own sphere is critical for the sustainable development of our cricket.
“To energize people to be proud of our product and to build and sustain our cricket brand. How do you do that? It is about finance and it is not just talk. But the articles of associations from Cricket West Indies clearly set out that the CWI board has a mandate to establish and maintain a cricket development fund.
“That has been ignored for years by all administrations before including this one now who claims that they are ever so successful in raising money. Or that the pandemic has stopped them from raising money when that is far from the truth,” he explained.
As a stakeholder representative for the BCA on the CWI board, Hope called out the regional governing body for not fulfilling promises made during the 2019 election. He also singled out the Skerritt administration for blatantly ignoring West Indies cricket legends.
“A lot was promised over the last two years and on certain promises and I have not seen the current administration stick to what it has promised.
“For example, there is an election, it is a democratic process and anybody can offer themselves. But you offer yourself on particular promises. Then you emerge in the leadership position and you make sweeping decisions and your experiment has not worked,” Hope said.
He added: “A lot of advice has been given by cricket legends, people who have been there, done that and people who are close to cricket administration in the region and things have fallen on deaf ears.”
As someone who has cricket in his DNA both as a former player and now as an administrator and someone who has a genuine love and wants to see West Indies cricket flourish, Hope said the non-inclusive approach by this current administration needs to stop.
“As somebody involved, I think I have a duty to put forward ideas. I don’t hold the keys to everything but things could be considered. I find that there is a non-inclusive approach to running our cricket.
“Cricket West Indies as a company is owned by six shareholders. Therefore, if you are a company owned by six shareholders they should be respected. Don’t act in a way that you own the shareholders.
“The behaviour and approach is as though I know everything and there is an arrogance about it. When you are positive in your campaign, the reason you are running is because arrogance existed before and you wanted to remove that. How can you want to remove arrogance and then you behave more arrogant than who you were complaining of?” Hope said.