The Cayman Islands may be a tiny cricketing island compared to the rest of the Caribbean, but at least it can boast a resident who is part of the newly revamped West Indies Cricket Board.
Perry George is now a special member on the governing board.
Following CARICOM’s recommendation to the board to encourage greater regional inclusion within its governance structure, the West Indies Cricket Board agreed to the addition of four special members during a special general meeting last year.
These included a representative from CARICOM, the Caribbean Tourism Association, the Media Association of the Caribbean, as well as from the universities and colleges in the region.
The Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions was invited to nominate a representative to fulfil that role and the organisation’s vice president Perry George received the appointment.
The Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions, in collaboration with the Association of Canadian Universities, soon will be launching a Caribbean Leadership Institute, which will provide development assistance to the board.
“We are looking at what the colleges association offers to the West Indies Cricket Board,” said George, an IT lecturer and also dean of administration at the University College of the Cayman Islands. “A very important area which comes to mind is something we have established and will soon launch, is the Caribbean Leadership Institute.
“We believe that the governing body of the West Indies Cricket Board could make good use of some of the facilities we’ll be offering through that leadership organisation,” added George.
“It will help build management skills, not just to the board but to other bodies also. We have already run some seminars for heads of colleges.
“Hopefully, there will be benefits derived and my presence will try to ensure that those opportunities will be equally important.
“It’s not just the building of a vibrant governing structure, it is also ensuring that the players are good ambassadors. You put these things together and you have professionalism as well as wholesome representation of the Caribbean.”
The board has a new president, Dave Cameron and there is a refreshing atmosphere after long-term hostilities between players and the board have been appeased.
“I sincerely think Cameron has the West Indies Cricket Board at heart,” George said. “He has a clear vision. All of the problems that have evolved in the past can be resolved.
“It’s all about good strategy and communication. If you have a clear strategic plan then you have a purpose, otherwise you’re just doing things on an ad hoc basis.”
George sees “great success lying ahead” for the West Indies. He wants to help the West Indies rise to former glories, create more opportunities for young players and simply to make cricket popular again in the Caribbean for boys and girls of school age. The board also wants to increase its sponsorship and merchandising revenue.
Dominica-born, George was a keen club cricketer around the Caribbean and also in London in the UK. Of the current crop of West Indies stars, Chris Gayle for his sheer excitement at the crease and captain Darren Sammy for gelling the side together, are his favourites.
Fellow Dominican Shane Shillingford, a spin bowler, is one of the newcomers he thinks could establish himself in the side, along with Trinidadian spinner Sunil Narine and opening batsman Kieran Powell from Nevis.