Oral Tracey | JCA must support Cameron!
The current challenge to the incumbent Cricket West Indies (CWI) board President, Jamaican Dave Cameron, by Kittitian Ricky Skerritt has thrown the regional cricket fraternity into another of those self-searching spins. This as we reconcile the politics of life and of cricket, with the wider interest of an institution that continues to be dear to the hearts of almost every Caribbean citizen.
The thought of an incumbent president not getting the support of his local board is inherently absurd, especially in the context of West Indies cricket. Mr Skerritt did the rounds in the Jamaican media last week. His utterances certainly never gave the impression that he was a man with the plan to save West Indies cricket. He sounded every bit the politician, expertly delivering the clichéd promises which would take us all to cricketing Utopia and beyond.
With the mystique of Skerritt’s presidential bid now fully exposed to scrutiny, it is clear that he is offering nothing radically different from what currently obtains. That aside, Dave Cameron has been doing as reasonable a job as any board president can be expected to do. His less-than-perfect interpersonal skills and the infamously botched 2014 Indian tour are the main beating weapons used against him.
In terms of the wider picture and the historical context of Caribbean cricket, we cannot ignore the still complex geopolitical reality of the Caribbean and its effect on the governance of West Indies cricket over the years. The word ‘insularity’ has been synonymous with the running of the regional team from time immemorial. There have been decade-long tugs-of-wars steeped in parochialism between the various territories from the days when The Windies were kings of the game but exacerbated now that they have fallen from grace.
In all fairness to Dave Cameron, he can hardly be credibly accused of the sort of brazen insularity that preceded his tenure. On the contrary, a case could be made that Cameron has been refreshingly inclusive. Ironically, a Jamaican vote for Cameron could be seen a vote against insularity. His flagship policy of implementing lucrative retainer contracts for regional and international players has been one of the best and most visionary moves made by any West Indies board president.
The on-the-field success has be touch-and-go, but still, with three world titles won and the rekindling of hope for the wider improvements of the Test and One Day International teams, there are also feathers in Cameron’s cap. Knowing all we know about some prominent political leadership from the Eastern Caribbean and their relentless calls and attempts to throw Cameron out of office, it is reasonable to ponder the possibility of Skerritt being put up by these politicians to challenge Cameron as a means to that end.
The fact of the matter is that neither Cameron nor Skerritt will wave a magic wand and foist the West Indies back to the top of world cricket. It is therefore a choice of who the better candidate is. Both from a cricketing perspective and from a Jamaican perspective, all things considered, the better candidate must be Dave Cameron, both by his track record and the fact that he is Jamaican. Absolutely, Jamaica should unequivocally support the Jamaican in the context of the uniquely notorious insularity of West Indies cricket.
As was said one evening last week by the outspoken gentleman on Television Jamaica’s ‘Sports Commentary’, in the context of West Indies cricket, if a ‘Jamaican Puss’ goes up for the presidency of the West Indies cricket board, the Jamaican cricket board should unequivocally nominate support and vote for that ‘Jamaican puss’.
Oral Tracey is a popular media personality and sports broadcaster.