Cameron must go - Gonsalves
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Long-serving St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has blasted the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, as "poor" and "embarrassing" and says the Jamaican executive needs to be axed or resign as head of the regional entity.
Gonsalves was speaking in reference to Cameron's handling of the recent players contracts impasse, which resulted from a disputed memorandum of Understanding and the subsequent abandonment of the India tour by the West Indies one-day team.
More significantly, his comments come just six weeks ahead of the WICB annual general meeting, when Cameron will be up for re-election.
"I hope the respective boards in the territories tell him to take a break and come back at a later date, perhaps with more mature, renewed skills of leadership," Gonsalves told the Nation newspaper here.
"I think his leadership in this regard has been extremely poor and has embarrassed us before the world. I happen to know certain facts which draw me to the conclusion that it is his sole leadership that led to the premature end of the tour of India.
"And I believe he bears heavy responsibility and really he should withdraw himself from any consideration for any leadership or from his term."
The outspoken Gonsalves has played a central role in trying to resolve the impasse that ensued when West Indies players walked off the one-day tour of India, following the fourth ODI in Dharamsala last October.
Their move scuppered the remaining one-dayer, the one-off Twenty20 International and the three-Test series that had been scheduled.
The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) blamed the WICB for the abandonment and subsequently lodged a claim of nearly US$42 million in damages. Only last week, the BCCI gave the WICB a deadline of next Tuesday to indicate how it planned to settle or face legal action.
Gonsalves said while the players needed to bear some responsibility in the matter, the ultimate burden rested on Cameron.
"It doesn't mean that the players were not to have showed greater restraint in the interest of the region," Gonsalves explained. "But you can't send people there (India) without a contract and then your attitude to them was that you aren't talking to them. And his attitude also to the Indian board was quite dismissive."
US$42 million claim
On the matter of the US$42 million claim, Gonsalves said he planned to engage regional grouping, CARICOM, on how best to go about ensuring the claim was properly addressed.
"And I am engaged in this matter not to help Dave Cameron, who I am satisfied is the person primarily responsible for this debacle," he said. "But I want to assist West Indies cricket, which is bigger than Dave Cameron. Any way I can help, I will help.
Only last week, Cameron said he would embrace any challengers to his post when the AGM is staged in Jamaica on March 7th.