ECB loan wasn’t a condition to tour the U.K. - CWI president

The USD 3 million loan handed to Cricket West Indies was just a helping hand, insists Ricky Skerritt.

In this picture taken on June 9, West Indies captain Jason Holder and coach Roddy Estwick arrive at the airport in Manchester. The West Indies will play three Tests against England.   -  ECB via Getty Images

A loan of USD 3 million given to Cricket West Indies by the England and Wales Cricket Board wasn’t a condition to tour the U.K., CWI president Ricky Skerritt has said.

The West Indian cricket team is already in the U.K. to play three Tests in a bio-secure environment. The Test series begins on July 8; it will be the first Test since all international cricket was halted in March. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, CWI president Skerritt said, “It was just a matter of when the tour would take place and if the ECB could assure the CWI medical experts that the health risk would be minimal to ensure the safety of our players and staff. Money had nothing to do with our final decision to make this tour. Holding out a hand for a pay-off is not the way CWI does business.”

Cash strapped

Skerritt said the CWI had approached the ICC in April for a loan as its financial situation had deteriorated amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, but it was the ECB which bailed out the CWI. “We needed cash urgently. The communication [with the ICC] was beginning to look like it would take quite long to be approved and CWI had no other reliable source of cash at that time. CWI asked ECB if they could make the advance instead, with the ICC providing the security. ECB agreed on the basis that ICC would then pay the advance back directly in July,” Skerritt said.

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“ICC finance officials were always fully aware of the transparent arrangements and soon became a legal party to the loan agreement,” Skerritt added.

Skerritt also denied that the loan meant CWI was backing the outgoing ECB chief Colin Graves for ICC’s chairmanship.

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