Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Who will it be, Cameron or Garner?

Published:Sunday | March 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM
WICB president Dave Cameron
Joel Garner
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Next week this time the boss of West Indies cricket will be known, hopefully?

Will it be the incumbent, under pressure Dave Cameron from Jamaica for his second term, or will it be new boy Joel Garner from Barbados?

I do not now know, but what I do know is that in the interest of West Indies cricket, it should be Garner.

I do not profess to know how good a manager Garner is, but, what I do know, even before he became an outstanding cricketer for the West Indies, is that he is a good man, a kind man, and an easy-going man, and that he breathes West Indies cricket, is interested in West Indies cricket totally, and will work towards its success regardless of the obstacles before him.

And he is not a one-man band, or a man who believes that he can do things alone. He is a team man, a man who works with others for the benefit of all.

Cameron has done some good for West Indies cricket, but they are few and far between and include pay for first-class West Indian cricketers and a longer first-class season, something which was tried in 1997 by Pat Rousseau but was stopped after one season due to the lack of money.

Cameron's faults, however, include, among other things, his support for the take-over of the ICC by India, Australia, and England on the promise of a few more dollars. Also, his lack of action on the Guyana issue, except to remove a Test match from Guyana at the last minute. Although I do not blame him entirely for the pull-out from the tour of India, he must shoulder the blame for not making an effort, to talk with India in order to save the tour, the good name of West Indies cricket, and possibly, the loss of US$42 million dollars.

He talks about having a good relationship with West Indies Players Association (WIPA) but what about when he was the vice-president, what about the times when the West Indies Board and WIPA ended up in court almost every day, and what about the times when the board lost almost every court case?

Julian Hunte was one of the presidents of the Board during those rebellious times, during Cameron's time as his deputy, and the question is this: Was it all Hunte's fault, or is it that Cameron, as the Jamaican president of the Board, now has, as president of WIPA, a Jamaican at his side?

And where was Cameron, a Jamaican and the sitting vice-president of the WICB at the time, when the West Indies dropped not only Ramnaresh Sarwan but also Chris Gayle, a senior player, a former captain, and a born and bred Jamaican?

If my memory serves me right, he was around but he was deadly quiet.

I do not know fully why the executive of the Jamaica Cricket Association voted not to support Cameron for a second term, but it should have been good enough for the members of the association that their two representatives to the WICB, the two members who are privy to board arguments and discussions, did not support him.

And even now, the members do not know why that happened. It still remains a mystery why their reasons were not disclosed, especially to the general membership of the association at a meeting called for a

no-confidence vote against the executive and to overturn their original vote.

My reason for wanting a change in the presidency of the WICB, however, now goes beyond all that has gone before, including Cameron's thoughtless and silly re-Tweet re Chris Gayle, a fellow Jamaican.

Gayle's response was a magnificent double-century innings.

My reason, as a West Indian, and as a Jamaican, is for the protection of West Indies cricket.

Insularity

Over the years, West Indies cricket has gone through trying times, some times that have threatened the break-up of West Indies cricket, what happened quite recently, beats all else.

Insularity has been the bane of West Indies cricket. But this time it promises to be deadly.

There have always been quarrels over who should captain the West Indies team, who should play in the team, and so on.

This time, however, it is who should be the president of the WICB, and according to what happened in Jamaica recently, it had nothing to do with qualifications or competence.

The Jamaicans, the members of the Jamaican Cricket Association, voted overwhelmingly at a meeting to overturn the vote of their executives, because, as far as they are concerned, Cameron is a Jamaican and Jamaicans should not vote against Jamaicans.

Apart from setting a dangerous precedent by overturning the vote of its executive, the meeting stated emphatically, 67 to 22, that Jamaicans should always vote for Jamaicans, regardless.

If Cameron wins on Saturday, how will he sit in board meetings with Billy Heaven and Dr Donovan Bennett knowing that they are from his own country and that they did not support him, and how will Heaven and Bennett feel sitting in the same meetings with Cameron?

And how will the other members of the WICB react in such an atmosphere?

West Indies cricket is in for a rough time, unless, of course, the insularity thing backfires on Cameron, unless the delegates from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Leeward Islands, and the Windward Islands figure that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and that since Jamaicans are for Jamaicans regardless, the territories should in turn close ranks and go against Jamaicans, in the interest of West Indies cricket.