Thu | Jan 23, 2020

Foster's Fairplay

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Wayne Lewis
WICB president Dave Cameron

Wayne Lewis, an executive on the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), is a good and loyal friend. We have negotiated trenches dug by others with amazing success and satisfaction.

The bond with the former Jamaica opening batsman, with a reasonable degree of flair, has in more recent times been cemented by frequent exchanges not all about cricket.

His brain is fertile, generating thoughts and analyses that can, if accepted, assist the decaying sport to once again assume its prominence and spectator appeal.

The fact that the Kingston College old boy has not risen to higher heights and has been able to make a more telling impact is fuelled, in the opinion of this columnist, by warped thinking, from some quarters, that you must play Test cricket to have a meaningful and significant role in its administration. His views are always respected.

Foster's Fairplay cannot understand, and by extension, support, my friend-for-life's support for the incumbent Dave Cameron in a bid to have a second shot at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidential chair.

In a recent outpouring of apparent anger and frustration, Lewis expressed his disgust at the local body for throwing its weight behind Cameron's chief rival, former West Indies fast bowler from the four-pronged factory of fast bowlers Joel Garner.

'Big Bird', as Garner was called during an illustrious career, is well positioned to land the post at the upcoming voting exercise scheduled for Jamaica on March 7.

Lewis, his black, green, and gold clutched to his left breast, wants Cameron. Why so? One had best ask the outspoken critic himself.

Cameron has not distinguished himself in the eyes of many during his first time at bat.

In cricketing parlance, he has smothered his wicket by allowing, and, in fact, one can say facilitating the recent India tour debacle, which ended in a walk, but and for which, arguably, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are being punished by their non-selection to the team for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

It was a lack of foresight to allow the team to leave our shores with their contractual arrangements still in embryo. Why, Dave, why? Did the man from Kensington Cricket Club where Lewis 'cut his teeth' in the game not have the acumen to predict the most likely outcome?

Even the blind could have foreseen that this was a recipe for disaster and the 'laying down of arms', given a 'money-grabbing' culture, which has invaded West Indies cricket.

Cameron, at whose desk the buck stops, paved the way for that debacle, which has produced an invoice for damages caused from the cash-sensitive Board of Control for Cricket for India (BCCI).

Is this what my friend, Wayne, is endorsing?

Does he not realise - and the BCCI is not relenting - that all that cash gifted as punitive penalties to them could jeopardise some craved emoluments that might have come to those players he represents?

Could not these same players, given their mercenary attitude, realising that their pool of funds is threatened by a Cameron repeat, cite Lewis for a conflict of interest?

They are justified in asking: "How can you be representing us, tending to our money-grabbing habits, yet support a man (Cameron) whose action, or lack of it, compromises the coffers from which our remuneration comes?"

This columnist will always respect and revere an independent thinker. It should never be compulsory to support a cause or an individual on parochial lines - "he is ours so we must love him" - giving little thought to the attributes and/or qualification to occupy a post which, in this instance, carries an enormous responsibility.

West Indies cricket is in the departure lounge. The hopes and aspirations of its supporters are going the same downward route. Despair has crept in. The region needs answers for the rapid demise that is ongoing.

The decline is not all about Cameron, but he played his role. He must withdraw and allow someone more equipped to carry the baton.

Anyone who supports what many hope is the outgoing president is doing the nation and the region a grave injustice.

Let him go, Wayne!