Mon | Apr 22, 2019

Battle for CWI presidency - Cameron, Skerritt square off today at Jamaica Pegasus

Published:Sunday | March 24, 2019 | 12:32 AMOrville Higgins - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Dave Cameron ... age 47.
Dave Cameron ... age 47.

In the early afternoon today, the world should know who is given the mantles of president and vice-president, to carry West Indies cricket forward for the next two years.

Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt, of St Kitts and Nevis, and his running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow, are looking to unseat the incumbent Dave Cameron and his vice-president, Emmanuel Nanthan. The annual general meeting will begin this morning at 9 o’clock with the election of president and an election of vice-president, items 13 and 14, respectively, on a 17-item agenda sent out by Cricket West Indies.

About midday, the results are expected to be known. It could be a dramatic day for regional cricket. All indications are that it could end up in a 6-6 tie for the presidency. The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) looks set to join Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Islands in supporting Skerritt, while Cameron is poised to get the backing of Guyana, Barbados and the Windward islands

All six cricketing territories in the West Indies are entitled to two votes each. A 6-6 result would mean a one-hour break in the meeting which will be at The Jamaica Pegasus. If after the hour and all the “wheeling and dealing” that will take place, the deadlock cannot be broken, then the election will be rescheduled to be held after a month’s break. If it remains tied at that time, then another election will be held at another annual general meeting, most likely in a year’s time. If that is the case, Cameron will continue to be the man in charge.

While on the surface it appears to be a dead heat, there have been some whispers that there is the possibility that there might well be a split in one of the territories, tilting the balance one way, or the other.

BOTH SIDES CONFIDENT

The Sunday Gleaner sought to judge the mood of the cricket delegates from around the Caribbean who are already here in Jamaica for a West Indies board meeting. While those interviewed were unwilling to be quoted, both sides were expressing confidence.

Those backing Skerritt were insisting that Cameron’s time had come and that he had nothing more to offer, while Cameron’s supporters felt that he had done enough to deserve another term. A delegate who requested anonymity felt that a 6-6 tie could be advantageous to Cameron.

“The three territories backing Cameron were not prepared to listen to Skerritt at all in the lead up to the election. It is hard to see them giving him a listening ear now. The countries backing Skerritt would be more likely to listen to Cameron rather than the other way around,” the delegate said.

One Jamaican director, who also requested anonymity, feels that Cameron has only himself to blame for the lack of support from his own countrymen.

“When he made his presentation to the JCA, we thought he would spend maybe a hour. He delivered for at least twice that. If you have to spend two-three hours trying to convince your own to vote for you then something is wrong,” the director said.

If Cameron is feeling the pressure, he surely is not showing it.

“I am confident we will win,” he told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday, “The vice-president and I have turned around the fortunes of West Indies cricket over the last six years. We have started to see the results of our labour. We deserve to continue the good work.”