Skerritt Says COVID-19 Has Put CWI Finances In ICU

(CMC) —The financial health of Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been described by its President Ricky Skerritt as being in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has prevented competition in the sport.

“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,” he said in an interview with Guardian Media Sports.

Skerritt said there would have to be some cost-cutting, and a committee set up after a 63-page financial review report by accounting and financial management consulting firm, PKF, was presented to the board last December, would be making recommendations on how to come out of the crisis and thrive financially. The PKF report made 26 recommendations.

“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,” the CWI boss 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.

Skerrit said the committee is expected to present its report in time for the board’s next quarterly meeting on May 27, “where all we will be dealing with is finances”.

The committee is tasked with assessing the related financial implications for future international tours, regional tournaments and High Performance camps with regards to revenue, operating expenses, cash flow and rescheduling or cancellation of events.

It will also review the current CWI cost structure and make recommendations on new areas for potential cost-reduction in addition to making recommendations generally on how CWI will need to operate to continue its core business, specifically given the changing but uncertain economic environment.

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation and postponement of sporting activities across the globe.

Several of CWI’s revenue-generating events have been affected. South Africa’s five-match T20I and two-Test tour and the New Zealand tour of the West Indies, both due to start in July, are in jeopardy.