UWI Today March 2015 - page 15

West Indies Cricket Board President
Dave Cameron’s
fondness for the use of social media has repeatedly
revealed his arrogance.
At the height of the team’s premature exit from the
tour of India in October, for which the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI) pointedly blamed him and
his Board, he defiantly tweeted: “They’ve criticised you.
They’ve doubted you. They’ve lied on you. They’ve done
all they can do, but one thing they can’t do is stop you.”
As the players finally carried out their forewarning
that they would abandon the tour, he used Facebook to
state that “it felt like an act of terrorism.”
Thesewere publicly expressedopinions unbecoming
of a leader of the region’s most cherished institution.
His latest venture into cyberspace plumbed new
depths of depravity.
As West Indies were engaged in a crucial World Cup
match against Pakistan in New Zealand, he seized on a
tweet from one Gibraun Brijmohan after Gayle was out
for 4. “Gayle goes… can’t buy a run… let’s give him a
retirement package… can’t fail repeatedly and still front
up based on reputation,” it read.
Immediately, presumably with a wicked gleam in
his eye, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board
(WICB), no less, re-tweeted the insult from an ordinary,
disgruntled fan to all his contacts. Quickly, if reluctantly,
realizing the inevitable repercussions, he cancelled the
message and tweeted a limp apology.
Gayle has been a thorn in his side over the omission
of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from theWorld Cup;
it was seemingly his asinine payback.
Like Cameron, Gayle is Jamaican andwidely revered,
not least in his homeland, as one of the most exciting
batsmen of his time. Only his friend, Usain Bolt, is as
popular in their homeland; his Twenty20 exploits in the
Indian Premier League (IPL) has accorded him cult status
across the sub-continent.
He is now passing through the kind of slump that
afflicts every cricketer. At 35, it may be terminal but that
wouldbe cause for sorrow, not the inappropriate rejoicing
of an individual clearly out of his depth in his position of
Michael Holding seethed at such crassness on theTV
show Match Point on ESPN.
He would not have been the only Jamaican, or
West Indian, so incensed; there might now even be
second thoughts among those who so readily sprung to
Cameron’s side at the JCA’s annual general meeting in
February to overturn their directors earlier, considered
choice of Joel Garner over their countryman for theWICB’s
March 7 presidential election.
The tussle between the 44-year-old financier from
Kingston, seeking a second two-year term, and Garner,
the giant fast bowler of the great team of the 1980s,
now president of the Barbados Cricket Association, has
occupiedmore column inches and air time than even the
team’s fluctuating fortunes in the simultaneous World
What eventuates from a room at Kingston’s Pegasus
Hotel will determine the kind of individual to attempt
to haul West Indies cricket out of its morass over the
next two years. A leader of substance, not bombast and
invective, is required
Cameron and Garner, the towering “Big Bird”, are
poles apart, as much in personality as in height.
Cameron is loquacious, always ready to speak
his mind. He is a shrewd operator who has overcome
controversy and criticism to get where he is.
Garner is a quiet giant who keeps his cards close to
his chest. The one obvious skeleton in his closet in his
association’s hiring last year, and subsequent firing, of
a chief executive who had pleaded guilty to a second-
degree felony charge of grand theft in Florida.
Cameron was elected president on March 2013 with
the strong endorsement of Jamaica’s PrimeMinister Portia
Simpson-Miller, whowas“confident that a renewal ofWest
Indies cricket will result under his leadership.”
His 7-5 advantage over the incumbent, Julian Hunte,
to whom he had been vice-president for six years,
reportedly resulted from the two Barbados delegates
defying the direction of their association to plump for
Hunte, x-ing the ballot for Cameron instead.
His place as aWICB director goes back over a decade.
He was head of theWICB’s marketing committee in 2005
when the Irish telecommunications company, Digicel,
won its bid to take over as sponsors ofWest Indies cricket
from its rival, Cable andWireless.
It was a messy business and the WICB set up a
committee, headed by Trinidad and Tobago judge,
Anthony Lucky, to investigate all aspects of the deal.
It reported that Cameron had received subsequent
financial backing from Digicel to renovate Kensington
Cricket Club in Kingston, of which he was president.
There had been “representation by persons with
allegations of improper inducementswhich are extremely
serious if true,” the committee gave them “no credence”
as they presented no hard evidence.
Even so, it took the view that Cameron’s decision“to
engage Digicel to finance the Kensington Cricket Club
renovationwas ill conceived and has cultivated suspicion
with respect to improper inducements.”
Such challenges seem to activate Cameron’s
combative juices to the extent of creating certainty over
his own invincibility.
Hence he has chosen to seek re-election in spite
of the WICB’s virtual bankruptcy and even though its
business is overshadowed by the BCCI’s compensation
demand for US$42 million for unplayed matches on the
abandoned India tour.
He contends that the WICB has adopted all the
recommendations of the Task Force it established
to report on the reasons for the India tour fiasco, yet
conveniently ignores its censure for the late presentation
of contracts to the players.
“There is something fundamentallywrong in sending
a team to faraway places with only an historical view of
their terms of employment and then to radically change
those historical terms after they arrive in that distant
place,” the Task Force stated. It could not have been
What does grab his attention is criticism of his star
player on a tweet from some anonymous fan.
Perhaps it is why he is convinced no one can stop
This column was reproduced with the kind consent
of Mr Cozier, a leading cricket commentator.
What will
WICB elections yield?
By Tony Cozier
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