Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt has spoken in detail about the financial issues the apex cricketing body faced when he assumed its control in 2019. Ricky Skerritt succeeded Dave Cameron as the President of West Indies cricket two years ago in March. The 64-year old revealed that they had to keep borrowing money from elsewhere to pay the lenders, cricketers, and the staff.
With the COVID-19 pandemic striking worldwide, cricketing activities suffered as much as any sport. Having stopped in March, international cricket resumed in July last year as the West Indies agreed to tour England for three Tests. Since then, the men in maroon have been regularly featuring amid the pandemic in all three formats.
Ricky Skerritt revealed that last year was not smooth for a significant chunk of his duration as CWI President since they stayed on borrowed future income. The politician-turned-cricket administrator conceded that they had close to $20 million in institutional debt and borrowed to pay back the lenders. While Skerritt accepted it okay if it was on short-term strategies, it had become endless.
“The biggest problem we were facing is that all of our future cash was spoken for before we even got it. We were living on borrowed future income. So, we had close to $20 million in institutional debt. And we were borrowing to pay back lenders. It was all smoke and mirrors. And that’s understandable on short-term strategies when there are difficult times for cash flow. But it had become endemic,” Skerritt told ESPN Cricinfo.
We’ve cut our debt down by at least a third now: Ricky Skerritt
The St. Kitts and Nevis born-administrator further said their focus was on retaining as much cash possible and cutting down on unnecessary costs. While Skerritt admitted they have cut their debt down by one-third now in less than two years, the situation remains tight. He stated that they were literally borrowing funds from various places to pay the players and staff.
“So we’ve been having to tighten belts, focus on cash rather than on profit and loss and get rid of any sort of unnecessary costs. And we’ve cut our debt down by at least a third now after less than two years. And, with some difficulty, we have improved our ability to meet our obligations; we just could not meet most of our obligations (previously). We were borrowing money to pay wages. We did that for the first year that I was in office. Right up until the early summer last year, we were literally having to borrow to just pay players and staff,” he added.