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Orville Higgins | Cricket West Indies elections going down to the wire

Published:Saturday | March 23, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Tommorrow’s election for the presidency of Cricket West Indies (CWI) is shaping up to be a cracker and could see, for the first time in living memory, both candidates ending up in a dead heat.

The incumbent Dave Cameron had already secured the nominations of Barbados, Guyana, and the Windwards Islands. Theoretically, that should see him securing six votes if there is no last-minute change of heart.

The challenger, Ricky Skerritt, had come in with the backing of Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Islands, which should mean he has four secure votes.

The votes of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) then was always going to be vital in determining which way the election would go. News came through yesterday that the JCA directors last Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of supporting Skerritt.

Of the 19 votes that were cast, 14 were in favour of Skerritt, Cameron got three and two abstained from the voting process.

I was not surprised.

A few years ago, when Cameron was being challenged by Joel Garner, the JCA delegates were threatening to support the Barbadian and it’s an open secret that it took some political persuasion before Cameron got the votes of his countrymen.

There has been no love lost between Cameron and some of the key powerbrokers in local cricket and it is clear that bad blood still lingers. What has also worked against Cameron is that the club he is president of, Kensington, has not supported ‘Billy’ Heaven in any of his presidential bids for the JCA. In a seemingly tit-for-tat situation, Cameron’s detractors are pointing out that it’s unreasonable for Cameron to expect the support of a Heaven-led JCA when Kensington have always voted against Heaven in local elections.

Split six-six possibility

With the two Jamaican votes going against Cameron, then the elections tommorrow could well see a six - six split.

According to CWI rules, if the votes are tied at the election, then the meeting will break for an hour to see if the candidates can convince one of the delegates to jump ship. If that doesn’t seperate them, the election will be recalled in a month, and if there is still no winner, then the whole thing is put off for the next annual general meeting, more than likely in a year’s time. If that is the case, the incumbent Dave Cameron would still be in charge of CWI.

Whatever happens tomorrow, those who run West Indies cricket should realise that having an even number of votes, without anyone have a casting vote, is a totally undesirable state of affairs. Twelve votes are already too small to determine a position as important as that, but surely, the framers of the constitution should have foreseen that it could come down to the kind of gridlock that could happen tomorrow.

Cameron is already on record saying he won’t lose the election and will remain president, even though technically, he might not win. All of this presupposes that everybody votes how they are expected to.

Could we see a surprise? When Cameron won the first time against Dr Julian Hunte the count was seven-five.

Somebody had gone against the grain. Will either candidate convince somebody to vote against the dictates of their territory, or will there be an even split tommorrow? Interesting times are ahead.