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WICB Members: Cameron did nothing wrong; public did not get all the facts

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Wycliffe “Dave” Cameron has been promised a smooth ride by regional member directors as the embattled sport body looks to carry on in the face of US$42 million lawsuit from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron (left) presents a token to St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during a WICB-CARICOM meeting. (Courtesy Windies Cricket)
Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron (left) presents a token to St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during a WICB-CARICOM meeting.
(Courtesy Windies Cricket)

CARICOM officials met the WICB during the second test of the just concluded drawn series with England. But according to one director, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the BCCI lawsuit was barely mentioned while Cameron made a point of charming his critics, including outspoken St Vincent and the Grenadines president Ralph Gonsalves.

“One of Cameron’s greatest characteristics is that he is a very affable gentleman,” said the WICB director. “If you see Dave around, he always has a big smile on his face (and a) light personality.

“He hasn’t shown any public bad blood to any of members that didn’t vote for him.”

After Cameron’s re-election in March, the Jamaican administrator told the media that the WICB’s flaw was not high-handed arrogance and incompetence but bad public relations skills.

“The general theme coming out of the (AGM) was not necessarily bad decision making,” said Cameron, “but how we could communicate effectively with our public.”

Caricom representative Dr Douglas Slater went further by referring to Cameron’s critics as ignorant.

Photo: Former West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo appeals for a decision.
Photo: Former West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo appeals for a decision.

“When persons are acting from a position of ignorance it leads to perception that are not factual,” said Slater.

Guyana, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Jamaica, who all voted for Cameron, agreed.

“We (Leeward Islands) we largely contented with Cameron’s performance as president,” said Leeward Islands representative and WICB director Enoch Lewis. “The Independent  commission appointed by the board to assess the India tour pull-out stated  that all three parties, WICB, WIPA  and players share an equal blame.

“Thus we could not see any reasons or facts that points to any major reason to blame Cameron individually. If there is, such info has yet to come to my desk.”

Windward Islands representative and WICB director Julian Charles suggested that Cameron’s critics—and he named Barbadian columnist Tony Cozier and ex-West Indies players turned analysts Michael Holding and Ian Bishop—would think differently if they did more research.

Photo: International cricket analyst and former West Indies legend Michael Holding. (Courtesy Telegraph.co.uk)
Photo: International cricket analyst and former West Indies legend Michael Holding.
(Courtesy Telegraph.co.uk)

“We didn’t feel the aborted tour was Cameron’s fault,” Charles told Wired868, “any fair-minded person could have waited a few more days before pulling out like players did. Overall Cameron has handled the affairs of WICB well in his first term…

“With regards to all those well known Caribbean cricket journalist and media personalities like Mr  Cozier,  Holding  and  Bishop who are great servant to Windies  cricket but have stated  opposition to Cameron; I don’t believe their ears are truly on the ground.

“Maybe with a bit more research on the matter they could have a change of heart.”

Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) president Dru Bahadur said Cameron’s re-election was never in doubt.

“Cameron is a solid communicator, he listens to views of director and we never entertained any thought of not voting for him again,” said Bahadur. “(The controversial issues) all occurred near the end of a first term where he implemented the important professionalisation of the WICB First-class season, a good new MOU/CBA and solid initiatives towards the revival of West Indies cricket.”

The Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago cricket associations both supported former West Indies great Joel Garner’s unsuccessful bid to oust Cameron. But that, they said, is water under the bridge now.

Photo: West Indies cricket icons Clive Lloyd (left) and Joel Garner (right) pose with Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie. (Copyright Windies Cricket)
Photo: West Indies cricket icons Clive Lloyd (left) and Joel Garner (right) pose with Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie.
(Copyright Windies Cricket)

“Yes, we thought Mr Garner’s manifesto made him an excellent presidential choice,” said Barbados cricket director Deighton Smith, “but, now that elections have passed, we support Windies cricket development.

“We always have and always will.”

Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath promised full support for the WICB president’s second term, despite also voting against him.

“We will support him 100%,” said Bassarath. “We have no choice, he is the elected President of WICB and we must respect that.

“TTCB will and must look at the bigger picture that is West Indies cricket and give all the support that is needed at this time.”

Privately, there are misgivings though. The anonymous WICB director was startled by what he felt was a casual response to the BCCI’s potentially crippling lawsuit against regional cricket.

Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a previous contest against the West Indies. (Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)
Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a previous contest against the West Indies.
(Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)

“Talks continue with the India board, however I can’t say that I am not worried about it,” he told Wired868. “Nothing has happened since the election to allay fears regarding the weak management system of WICB.

“But we are only six weeks into the new term and they deserve a chance to see if this will improve.”

So far, he claimed, it feels like business as usual rather than a new era at the WICB. He suggested that the WICB’s recent meeting with CARICOM did little to inspire confidence.

“When you have the same leadership in place (that) meeting just becomes a next meeting,” he said. “It didn’t give the feeling of a new dispensation and that maybe a bit worrying because West Indies cricket needs transformational and transactional leadership.

“The England series showed some transformation signs on the field, but I wonder about our transactional. Is our management structure good? Do we have all the checks and balances?”

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) turned head in the Caribbean when, prior to the WICB elections, its board members voted 10-6 to support Garner against their own compatriot.

However, by the time of the election—and presumably after some horse trading behind closed doors—Jamaica representative and WICB director Donovan Bennett had a change of heart, which is believed to have shored up Cameron’s return as WICB boss.

Photo: West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds (right) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron shake hands over the players'  controversial CBA/MOU in September 2014. (Courtesy WIPA)
Photo: West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds (right) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron shake hands over the players’ controversial CBA/MOU in September 2014.
(Courtesy WIPA)

“Yes, I had voted against Cameron,” said Bennett, “but there is no bitterness and we have to move forward with West Indies cricket as the focus.

“I can’t say if everyone at JCA is happy with him since the election. But I am okay with how things stand.”

About Colin Benjamin

Colin Benjamin is a former freelance writer for the Trinidad Newsday newspaper and Guyana Stabroek News.

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30 comments

  1. a drawn series against a weak English team and these assholes feel that the problems in WI has been resolved.

  2. Bullshit, they should shut down the WICB. those c)(K suckers the less said the better.

  3. Clearly they’re all sleeping together! SMH!

  4. The problem is not ignorance as much as it is a lack of transparency.

  5. all sounds depressingly familiar.

  6. Yep Savitri Maharaj the unfortunate trend of Caribbean sports

  7. But Colin, the WICB is another incarnation of the TTFA/FIFA. They are all there for their own benefit and not about our cricket

  8. If I was a reader I probably won’t read this article either due to the headache Windies cricket gives us all ha. But I believe it was imperative to get these directors to talk on why the re-elected Cameron.

    They are the people who have the power in the WICB to make change that people want.

    Off All the cricket media friends/as socialites I know in all 6 territories at various newspapers plus countless fans were against Mr Cameron being elected.

    All of them explained their side so at least we know from the various horses mouth why he was re-elected

  9. We are all adults and disagreements are part of life. I’m cool with that and respect all commenters. It’s only a note of caution. 🙂

  10. Heated, Lasana? Not me, life is much too short for that.

  11. Yes Lasana but we have a few ppl here benefitting from the status quo who choose to belittle us when we disagree with them, but u see i have nothing to lose by saying it as i see it

  12. This is a mighty testy topic. Let’s not get too heated about it. Colin Benjamin spoke to every association including those that did not vote for Dave Cameron for their take on West Indies cricket going forward.

  13. Don’t even want to know. Not this rounds. Their spin Doctors are pros.

  14. Hey. Always good to know all the different sides of the story and what people are saying on the inside as well as the outside… You don’t have to agree of course. 😉

  15. Take a flip Gerard Emile Zatopek Pinard

  16. Doh waste yuh time Savitri. Sure yuh have better things to do.

  17. Wonder if i should read this drivel

  18. “Maybe with a bit more research on the matter they could have a change of heart.”
    Yep! But it’s so much easier to just say whatever suits us, ent?

  19. “Caricom representative Dr Douglas Slater went further by referring to Cameron’s critics as ignorant. “When persons are acting from a position of ignorance it leads to perceptions that are not factual,” said Slater.”
    Hmmmm….ah ent callin’ no names eh, but if yuh call de names ah go whistle.

  20. Hmmmmmm..interesting what 1 director said.
    So far, he claimed, it feels like business as usual rather than a new era at the WICB. He suggested that the WICB’s recent meeting with CARICOM did little to inspire confidence.

    “When you have the same leadership in place (that) meeting just becomes a next meeting,” he said. “It didn’t give the feeling of a new dispensation and that maybe a bit worrying because West Indies cricket needs transformational and transactional leadership.

  21. Moms used to say: “When better can’t be done…let worse continue…”
    The crisis of “who we go put?” continues. That has to be the main handicap of Caribbean sport.

  22. Because they have no balls that’s why. Don’t even need to read the article.

  23. A solid piece of reporting which I think would have been considerably enhanced had Colin had the foresight or whatever is the quality it takes to approach Ian Bishop and Michael Holding who are named in the piece. I would also have liked to hear what Clive Lloyd and Tony Cozier have to say although my instincts tell me that I already know .

  24. Lasana, I hear you when you say “We are all adults” but I’m not sure you’re right. I think you should say “None of us is a minor” because you are referring to people’s age. However, for me, “adult” implies a maturity of thought which has to do with more than calendar age and which I sometimes find absent in some of those making comments here.