Follow The Trace | Vindication For Dave Cameron
The imminent return of Mr. Wycliffe 'Dave' Cameron as President of West Indies Cricket for a third consecutive term must be seen as vindication for the performance of Mr. Cameron and his executive. The fact that Mr. Cameron is set to be returned unopposed is an index of how little credibility his detractors have as I relates the criticisms of the stewardship of the region’s cricket over the last four years.
The obvious and expressed dislike and disdain for the Jamaican have come from some prominent voices in and around West Indies cricket, but remain in the significant minority. The majority of stakeholders evidently do not share this negative view of Mr. Cameron, or at least are not seeing a better alternative at the point in time.
It continues to be a handful of active senior players, a few past players and past administrators, and some regional politicians who have been demonstrably vocal against Mr. Cameron and his stewardship of the board. The grouses are for the most part based on the president’s interpersonal skills and his style of leadership, all disguised in a thin coat of covert classism.
The hard cold facts are that the West Indies are current world champions at the Men’s Twenty20 , Women’s T20, and men’s under 19 levels, all achieved under the watch of Dave Cameron. For several decades there was rampant and incessant talk about the need for first class cricket in the region to be professionalised, not until Dave Cameron took over did all that talk translate into reality with the region’s first class cricketers now getting relatively decent remuneration for their services as cricketers.
The retainer contracts for the region’s international representatives, men and women are at levels never seen before in our history. The West Indies board is in the unusual place of financial profitability. These are real and tangible achievements and milestones that must be credited to the leadership of President Cameron.
The main cricketing issue being held up against the Cameron administration is the embarrassing state of the region's test team. In all fairness though, Mr. Cameron and his administration cannot be reasonably blamed for the demise of our test team which began its decline well before his tenure and will continue long after his departure.
The decline in test cricket in the region is an index of the global decline of this format of the game. The more rapid and pronounced decline of the test game in the Caribbean is hardly policy and structure related. The fundamental game changer in this regard has been the emergence of the T20 format, a faster paced, more exciting fan friendly, more financially appealing version of the game. A prospect that has led to the region’s top players becoming less interested in playing test cricket, opting instead to be specialist merchants of the cash rich T20 game.
When an entire generation of players are no longer interested in playing test cricket, it seems an unfortunate and crippling turn of events, but represents the natural evolution of the game, which is beyond the control of any governing body.
In reconciling the negatives associated with Dave Cameron’s persona against the positive changes made and the on field achievements, comparing the tenures of Mr. Cameron to any West Indies cricket board President of the modern era, Dave Cameron could very well go down as one of, if not the best West Indies Cricket board president ever, if we are willing to be totally objective about it.