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Orville Higgins | Who will win the upcoming WICB presidency?

Published:Saturday | March 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM

It seems that the entire region is talking about the upcoming election for the presidency of the West Indies Cricket Board. The incumbent Dave Cameron must have thought, he wouldn’t be challenged until out of the blue, came former West Indies manager and well-known political figure from the eastern Caribbean, Ricky Skerritt. As it stands now, Skerritt has the backing of Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Islands while Cameron was nominated by Jamaica, Barbados, the Windward Islands, and Guyana.

After the nominations were in it seemed fairly straightforward. With each territory having two votes, it appeared that Cameron would get eight votes while Skerritt would secure the other four. So up to a few days ago it appeared a foregone conclusion that Cameron would be back for his third term, and then came the statement from the president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Billy Heaven, that has thrown a huge spanner in the works. Speaking a few days after being given another mandate, Heaven made it clear that it was not automatic that the JCA votes would go to Cameron. He said that the JCA would not be voting along nationality lines and that the votes from his organisation would go to the candidate with the better message.

That has sent shockwaves reverberating around the region. All of a sudden, Cameron is no longer an apparent shoo in for his third term.

This of course begs the question. Why would the JCA nominate Cameron and then not be prepared to automatically vote for him? What would be the point of that? Did something change in between the nomination and that speech by president Heaven?

Change of heart?

Is there a case that the JCA had a change of heart? If so, what could that be? Are personal feelings taking precedence over professional considerations? If the nominations elsewhere hold true, and are really indicative of what the voting patterns will be, then Cameron is assured of eight votes, Skerritt will be guaranteed four, and the Jamaican votes will be the real battleground for both candidates. It now seems certain that if Jamaica supports Cameron then his third term is a given. If not, we could well see a split vote of each on the 28th of this month. A split vote would see both contenders leaving the room and trying to woo voters their way.

At that stage, it’s anybody’s game.

None of the two camps would like that, It is an interesting irony that it is his own countrymen that appear to have the destiny of Cameron in their hands.

It is an open secret that some members of the JCA were not necessarily supporting Cameron when he was challenged by Joel Garner out of Barbados a few years ago. It took some political nudgings to give Cameron the Jamaican votes which ultimately proved decisive. Will that be the case this time? Will a different political breeze blow with the same effect? When Cameron defeated Julian Hunte the first time he faced the cricket electorate, he won 7-5. Clearly then, one territory voted for two candidates then. Will that be the same this time? Cameron is in the driver’s seat at the moment, but between now and the 28th, there will be many discussions behind the scenes as the attempt is made “to win friends and influence people.” Interesting times are ahead.