Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Crabs in a barrel

Published:Tuesday | February 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Follow the Trace - Oral Tracey

The decision by the directors of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) not to support their fellow Jamaican and incumbent, Dave Cameron, in his bid for a second term as West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president is a stark reminder of how vindictively disloyal and viciously unpatriotic we can be as Jamaicans.

When the majority of Jamaicans on that JCA board were either convinced, or decided on their own, to endorse the Barbadian Joel Garner for the leadership of such a prestigious regional institution, ahead of the Jamaican Cameron, it provided yet another index of how naively we Jamaicans continue to view ourselves in this unique and complex Caribbean context.

It is absolutely no secret that West Indies cricket has functioned, and continues to function, in an environment of divisiveness and near polarising insularity. The very notion of a unified region and a unified cricket team exists more in theory than in actual reality.

The logistics of the region, which boasts the only international sporting team with members drawn from a collection of independent nations spread across such a broad geographical area, lends itself to the continuation of this fractious dynamic for a long time to come.

In addition to the well-documented incidents of mistreatment, marginalisation and downright abuse of Jamaican citizens in regional territories such as Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaican cricket fans, administrators, and indeed cricketers - over the years - have complained bitterly about overt and covert anti-Jamaican actions and sentiments in and around the corridors of power of the region's cricket whenever non-Jamaicans are at the helm of the governing body.

Out Of The Wilderness

In that context, this recent turn of events is absolutely unforgivable, after 12 years in the wilderness between 2001, when the Honourable Pat Rousseau demitted office, and 2013, when Dave Cameron managed to work his way through regional cricket's convoluted political cobweb to become the president of the West Indies board.

To any objective eye, Cameron has done more good than bad as WICB president. The fundamental issue of improved remuneration packages and retainer contracts for the region's first-class cricketers had long been discussed, but never implemented until Mr Cameron replaced the talk with action.

Whether by coincidence or design, Jamaicans presently occupy the pivotal positions of board president, board CEO, as well as West Indies Players' Association president and secretary.

At least the perception that Jamaicans are being marginalised by the power brokers of the regional game has been dispelled under Cameron's watch.

By any objective measure, Dave Cameron is in no way a worse president of the WICB than any of his recent predecessors.

It borders on treason that the man has been stabbed in the back by his very own Jamaican board, obviously not because of real cricketing matters, but more out of personal pettiness and internal cricket politics.

Conveniently for his detractors, Mr Cameron is being labelled arrogant and being disingenuously blamed for that ugly and costly Indian tour fiasco.

The Jamaican cricket board directors, by their actions, have once again advertised to the world our myopic and tribal tendencies, which basically validate the notion that Jamaicans really do have the propensity to be as methodical, as savage and as ruthless as crabs in a barrel.