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The belly of the WICBeast: Analysing Cameron’s election win

It only defies logic for a moment. As soon as you begin to think about the possible reasons why the West Indies Cricket Board would have re-elected outgoing president Dave Cameron, it makes perfect sense: it’s not cricket because it’s not about cricket.

Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron during a function at WIPA's office in Jamaica in 2014. (Courtesy WIPA)
Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron during a function at WIPA’s office in Jamaica in 2014.
(Courtesy WIPA)

Read Raffique Shah’s column on page 14 of the Sunday Express and tell me what the Integrity Commission has to do with integrity? We call the UNC the United National Congress but is it really united? Is the People’s National Movement in any real sense national?

So it isn’t really that much of a surprise if the West Indies Cricket Board has very little to do with cricket, is it?

And even less to do, it seems, for cricket!

Listen carefully to Michael Holding and Ian Bishop discussing cricket on the television and ask yourself whether, if the decision were yours to make, Curtly Ambrose would be the only ex-pacer serving West Indies in a coaching capacity

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And ask yourself as well whether, even if we equip him with a ten-foot pole, the WICB’s current appointee Stuart Williams would have a chance of touching Gus Logie as a West Indies coach.

Go refresh your memory about the circumstances under which Trinidad and Tobago’s star left-handed Brian Lara replaced Jamaica’s Courtney Walsh as West Indies captain in 1998 and then ask yourself if the WICB has ever been serious about cricket as we know it.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago's "Prince of Port of Spain" and iconic West Indies cricketer Brian Lara. (Copyright AFP 2014/Manan Vatsyayana)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s “Prince of Port of Spain” and iconic West Indies cricketer Brian Lara.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Manan Vatsyayana)

Have a read of Tony Cozier’s column on page 46 of the Sunday Express, see in there what former Jamaica prime minister PJ Patterson has to say about the report his WICB-appointed committee tendered to the Board seven years ago and then ponder on the real raison d’être of the WICB.

Take a long, hard look at what UWI Today editor Vaneisa Baksh has to say on Page 13 of Friday’s Express and decide whether we should take the WICB seriously.

Or more accurately, whether we should allow the WICB as currently constituted to take itself seriously.

Think about who was the captain of the West Indies team and who was its coach a year ago and ask yourself what the WICB has been doing to cricket. Think of the paper bag the WICB recently appointed chairman of selectors and ask yourself the same question: what has anything the WICB does have to do with cricket?

Ask yourself if, given a choice between Cameron and Joel “Big Bird” Garner, the aforementioned chairman of selectors would make the same choice as you. Ask yourself why.

Consider the composition of the West Indies team currently struggling to remain in contention in the World Cup Down Under and ask yourself if you would have opted for – and defended – the same team the WICB selectors selected. And defended.

Photo: West Indies teammates Kieron Pollard (right) and Dwayne Bravo will face India in the opening ODI today.
Photo: West Indies teammates Kieron Pollard (right) and Dwayne Bravo will face India in the opening ODI today.

Ask yourself who is the current captain of the One-day team and try to find the real reason.

Ask yourself where are Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard and Sunil Narine and ask yourself what are the real reasons why they have been put out to pasture.

Cast your mind back to last December when the West Indies cricketers were forced to abort the tour of India and ask yourself whether the players were to blame for the fiasco. Then ask yourself who is really at fault.

More than what the WICB has been doing for cricket, the answer is likely to tell you a lot about what the WICB is doing to cricket!

So ask yourself whether, if you were the president of the WICB, you would have sat in your posh office in Antigua or in Jamaica or wherever and sent emails and texts and tweets while there was a real and immediate threat to the tour. Ask yourself if, under the circumstances existing at the time, you would have refused to deal with the players and insisted that you were prepared to deal only with the Players’ Association, compromised or not?

Ask yourself if, WICB president or mere West Indian citizen, World Cup or no World Cup, you would have made available to all your Twitter followers that unflattering cyar-buy-a-run tweet about Chris Gayle.

Photo: West Indies veteran Chris Gayle (left) gets a hand from teammate Marlon Samuels during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. (Copyright: AFP 2015/Marty Melville)
Photo: West Indies veteran Chris Gayle (left) gets a hand from teammate Marlon Samuels during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
(Copyright: AFP 2015/Marty Melville)

And if, having asked and answered all these questions, you still have the belly to be an active supporter of the WICB’s side in the World Cup, then go down on your knees from now and pray for a huge WI win when they play the UAE next Sunday.

And pray like yuh never pray before, get a dharay, wuk some obeah, bun some incense and light plenty candle, buy a rabbit foot and hold on tight to any good luck charm you own.

Why? Well, even if West Indies put a proper cut-tail on the middle-easterners making nearly 500 and change and then bowling them out for change, if rain only wash out Match 42, Ireland versus Pakistan, that playing same time, crapaud smoke WI pipe.

And Cameron will cry crocodile tears, all the while exulting that he now has just the red herring he needs to deflect attention away from his completely unjustifiable re-election…

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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  1. Talk about flogging a dead horse. Be real. Is WI cricket relevant to the everyday lives or hopes of West Indians anymore. I can no more relate to another islander than to some of my own country men. The sport serves as a means to an end for some of the island’s young men to find fortune and fame. Kudos for that. As for the rest..”Doesn’t Trinidad have football or other teams that can generate some interest?”

  2. The big question is whether India will emulate West Indies and “fail to appear” in the match against Ireland. Certainly it’s the sort of thing that has happened in World Cup football, when teams that are already through, have “rested” key players, and generally played below their best, thus screwing up another team that needed their “help” to qualify.

  3. He is the best Man to clean the mess.

  4. The WICB has paved the way in ensuring the poor performance of the (West Indies) team in the 2015 World Cup.The decision too leave out Bravo & Pollard has shown the world how immature the WICB of selectors are. Also replacing the captaincy with someone who has little experience on a big stage. Shame on u WICB.

  5. I ent sure he’s the Best man 2 do that nah, ah coming home 2 start ah baseball league, who’s in, lol

  6. Sad But true. The WICB is just an extension of what is going on in the ICC. Money over cricket. When we learn that sports tourism will yield higher profits in the future and put the proper framework for it. Unfortunately out own TTCB is heading towards this direction. Look at our performance in the 4 Day tournament. A leadership without foresight, demotivated players,No accountability and No programs for the youth. Sadly the end of cricket is drawing nigh and we can only watch as it is destroyed

  7. Dumb and Dumberer: When Cammy met Lloyd

  8. all i have to say is west indies have more licks to get before they get better… west indies till ah dead

  9. Call me ignorant but I haven’t had the feeling for years now that Bravo, Pollard, Narine and Gayle give a toss about West Indies. I also believe Holding and Bishop wouldn’t provide any leadership and change if they were in charge. Cameron hasn’t shone but he has not been a complete failure. So, he may not ‘deserve’ another stint but I wouldn’t say he is undeserving either.