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TRINIDAD - cricket

Skerritt: That's It

- Wednesday 24, March-2004 by HAYDN GILL

England players Mark Butcher (left) and Graham Thorpe are two happy men leaving the pitch. England players Mark Butcher (left) and Graham Thorpe are two happy men leaving the pitch.

PORT-OF-SPAIN – Less than a week after describing the West Indies team as the most disciplined it had been in the past four years, team manager Ricky Skerritt is calling it quits.

In an unexpected announcement yesterday in the aftermath of a second successive Test defeat against England that assured the visitors’ retention of the Wisden Trophy, Skerritt resigned his post with effect from the end of June.

In his resignation letter submitted on Sunday to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Teddy Griffith, Skerritt said his decision was made after the first Test in Kingston in which he strongly condemned acts of inappropriate conduct among some team members.

“Events following the first Test match in Jamaica have led me to review my role as team manager,” Skerritt said in his letter which was handed in a day after he informed WICB chief executive Roger Brathwaite of his decision.

“I regret that, despite my best efforts, I have been unable to instil in the entire team the fullest understanding of their obligations on and off the field to the people of the West Indies.”

His resignation follows his well-publicised comments after four players were reportedly seen in the Red Stripe Mound Party Stand following the embarrassment of the West Indies crashing for their lowest ever Test total of 47.

There were reports yesterday that Skerritt recommended to the WICB that two of the players be slapped with heavy fines, strong reprimands and probationary periods.

Skerritt, a Kittitian business executive who was first appointed West Indies manager in 2000 and retained for a two-year contract last year, emphasised his continued commitment to West Indies’ cricket and his willingness to support whoever succeeds him to ensure a smooth transition.

On behalf of the team, captain Brian Lara wished the outgoing manager well.

“He has expressed his commitment to the team. He said that it [resignation] has nothing to do with the players in the team.

“He just thinks that we need blood, energy within the team. I think the guys are appreciative of the fact that someone has stood up.

“As a team, we’ve got to focus on the cricket and forget everything on the periphery. We’ve got to concentrate. We’re not playing good cricket and that’s where it is.”

After the incident at Sabina Park, Skerritt said the players who went into the Mound made immature, childish and perhaps selfish decisions, but added that the team was the best disciplined it had been under his tenure.

Compliments of the Nation News


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