Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Cameron has passed his due date

Published:Wednesday | February 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Abka Fitz-Henley

While his embattled countryman and employee who happens to be the most feared batsman in the shorter version of the game faced disappointment on foreign territory and was struggling on the game's biggest stage, the Cricket World Cup West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President Dave Cameron caused the following jeering words to be further publicised to his 1,638 followers on the micro-blogging website Twitter: "Gayle goes ... can't buy a run. Let's give him a retirement package."

Cameron's action is tantamount to heresy. He should resign.

Mr Cameron, who is seeking re-election as president of the WICB, recanted his retweet following backlash from those outraged at what can be reasonably construed to be his act of betrayal. The tweet - "No offense intended. Full apologies extended. Rally round the West Indies" - would later emerge from his Twitter account, President Cameron @davec51.

I must confess that I like the idea a Jamaican being at the helm of the administration of our regional game, but for too long, insularity has been the bane of West Indies cricket. Any residual sense of national pride that Mr Cameron is president of the WICB must be secondary to a considered and reasoned assessment of whether he's fit to resume that occupancy.

 

devastating consequences

 

Christopher Gayle was not in India when the recent tour was abandoned to what has now turned out to be potentially devastating consequences. As far as we know, Gayle was not party to the decision to abandon the ill-fated tour, a move which has led to severe criticism of a few players and subjected Mr Cameron's administration to mounting criticism.

But even if Gayle had been the mastermind (which he was not), Mr Cameron's poor judgement that caused him to reproduce and publicise biting criticism of his employee in the heat of battle is inexcusable.

An apology cannot remedy chronic traits unsuitable for leadership. That the president of the WICB would even contemplate further publicising a snide call for the head of his countryman and member of his team is curious.

However, that Cameron would operationalise that contemplation while his employee and our representative grappled with disappointment and was overcome by the proverbial enemy on the game's biggest stage is an abominable act that has confirmed his judgement to be abysmal and poor, rendering him unworthy of leading the administration of our beloved game.

One of the few who asked for mercy for Dave Cameron on the day of his indiscretion said, "What's the big deal? A retweet is not an endorsement." I agree that a retweet is not necessarily an endorsement.

 

woefully inappropriate

 

What is beyond debate is that at a difficult time, Mr Cameron caused caustic criticism of one of his/our premier players to be broadcast to hundreds while the West Indies did battle on foreign territory. The action by the WICB president has come following Gayle's public expression of disagreement with the exclusion of two of his colleagues from the World Cup.

Regardless, Cameron's woefully inappropriate act, especially for a man in leadership, has exposed just how chronic his sense of misjudgement is. His action is reflective of the petty, divisive and disloyal traits from which the administration of West Indies cricket should divorce itself.

The head of the England Cricket Board or Cricket Australia would not survive such an indiscretion.

I have publicly criticised Chris Gayle in the past. On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, subsequent to a series of losses by the West Indies, I wrote the following in The Gleaner: "Of course, we do not grudge Chris one dollar, but we wish he would use his reported influence to inspire the bunch of underperformers to perform with more pride and obtain results synonymous with the rich standards set by his predecessors."

That is different; it was constructive criticism and a desire for better. I hold no brief for Chris Gayle or any guy. Equally, I have no beef with him. And crucially, I'm not his employer or the president of the WICB.

Furthermore, I wrote in my capacity as an ardent follower of the game. That's a limited position not open to Dave Cameron, for he cannot divorce himself and his utterances regarding the subject of his governance (that is, regional cricket) from his occupancy of the high office of WICB president.

 

limited position

 

Furthermore, I'm in the profession of journalism. Were I to retweet or cause the further broadcast of strong criticism of a struggling colleague or junior who was attempting to perform on air in the midst of coverage of a general election, I'd have no option but to tender my resignation. Not only because I'd have disrespected my employer, but, primarily because such a disloyal, unbecoming and divisive act would render my position untenable and my presence potentially fatal to the mission of the team.

All of us should demand much more from our cricketers. However, when in the midst of battle, the man charged with leading the administration of our game, a task which includes fostering unity, elects to publicise and distribute a missive mocking and attempting to tear down one of our chief representatives, he should be told very strongly that we resent that.

Dave Cameron should face the consequences of his actions. He has contrived to drag a wide half-volley on to his middle stump. He should not be like former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who invariably would await the umpire's decision. Cameron should walk.

n Abka Fitz-Henley is a student of world cricket and a journalist. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and abkafitzhenley@yahoo.com.