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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

West Indies cricket in ‘ICU’ due to pandemic, says chief Ricky Skerritt

West Indies was scheduled to tour England in June but it has been postponed now due to the pandemic. South Africa's tour of West Indies in July-August for five T20Is and two Tests is also in doubt.

By: PTI | Kingston | Published: May 16, 2020 5:33:03 pm
West Indies’ captain Kieron Pollard with teammates. (Source: AP Photo)

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief Ricky Skerritt has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has put the region’s already ailing cricket body into “Intensive Care Unit” and it will have to go for cost cutting measures to ride out the financial crisis.

The coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 45 lakh people globally, has forced a global sporting shutdown, including cricket.

“This crisis has put our already poor financial state into ICU. It is like going to the doctor with an illness, and as he is about to prescribe the medication, you get a stroke,” Skerritt said in an interview with Guardian Media Sports.

West Indies was scheduled to tour England in June but it has been postponed now due to the COVID-19 outbreak. South Africa’s tour of West Indies in July-August for five T20Is and two Tests is also in doubt.

New Zealand was also scheduled to tour West Indies in July to play three ODIs and three T20Is but that series too is under threat.

Skerritt said a committee was set up after accounting and financial management consulting firm PKF had presented a 63-page review report last December.

This committee, which has been entrusted with the task of assessing the financial implications for future international tours and rescheduling or cancellation of events among other things, is expected to present its report at the board’s next quarterly meeting on May 27.

“What this committee will do is to look at that and also look at the emergency situation that this COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us into and recommend what can be done,” Skerritt said.

“This committee may expect to be looking to not massage on the body but make deep surgical incisions, as far as the cutting-back process goes. What we have been doing all the while is cost saving, but I think the time has come for cost cutting.

“We have about 100 cricketers on retainers, and the board has had to fund this professional league. This has come at great expense to us, and all these things will be looked at,” he added.

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