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Cricket West Indies President, Kishore Shallow during the CARICOM conference on West Indies cricket in Trinidad on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (X (formerly Twitter)/ CARICOM: Caribbean Community)
Cricket West Indies President, Kishore Shallow during the CARICOM conference on West Indies cricket in Trinidad on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (X (formerly Twitter)/ CARICOM: Caribbean Community)

By Peter Richards

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Cricket West Indies president, Kishore Shallow says the CARICOM conference on the sport in the Caribbean can serve as a platform for “acknowledging deficiencies and initiating change”.

The conference, which is being jointly hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago government and CARICOM, opened here on Thursday.

Shallow said there was a deep-rooted cultural and historical significance to West Indies cricket, highlighting its role as a unifying force and source of regional pride – but he acknowledged there were issues affecting the sport in the Caribbean.

“Despite its past dominance, West Indies cricket struggles to maintain its global status, facing issues of insularity and nationalistic behaviours,” he said during his opening address to the conference.

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“In fact, to the average fan, certainly the younger generation, our reality may even be perplexing, wondering, what are we talking about? What great institution? If you’re only just tuning in to West Indies cricket.

“Quite often, I hear the question such as, how can an institution that held such dominance once upon a time be so vulnerable now? And why have we dominated in every single format of the game at some point, but yet there are still struggles for us to be in the top five of the world ranking?”

Shallow said it was essential that all concerned accept and acknowledge the deficiencies and challenges to West Indies cricket that have been documented in various texts to begin resolving them.

He added that though individual brilliance may be notable, sustained success required collective effort and understanding of roles within the team.

“So, in order to proceed with fixing or resolving our issues and challenges, we have to accept the deficiencies,” he said. “Those diagnoses over the years in countless texts that are so well documented and available to us, we have to accept what we need to fix.

“And I believe this symposium is a starting point of accepting the challenges that we face, our shortfalls over the years, the countless suggestions made to us, including former heads of governments, but certainly cricket administrators, that these suggestions that have fallen deaf over the years must now be accepted.”

Entitled “Reinvigorating West Indies Cricket – A Symposium for Strategic Collaboration and Innovation”, the conference will engage topics such as the strategic direction of West Indies cricket, the development of cricket, and cricket and tourism.

Several CARICOM leaders, including host prime minister, Keith Rowley, Barbados PRIME MINISTER, Mia Mottley, and Guyana President Irfaan Ali are attending the conference, as well as cricket icons such as Sir Wes Hall, Sir Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards, and Sir Charlie Griffith.