(Trinidad Guardian) Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara is ready to throw his hat in the ring and contest the post as president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
In an exclusive interview with the Trinidad Guardian, Lara, who is currently doing television commentary at the World Cup in Australia/New Zealand, said he is becoming increasingly concerned at the deficiencies in the management of the sport here in the Caribbean, and he would have no hesitation in accepting a nomination and contesting the top post as president of the WICB.
Lara said he is frightened by the breakdown of an institution that has been mostly responsible for giving him the opportunity to become the person he is today.
“If you are a West Indian, and understand what cricket means to us, you have to feel that we could do a lot better than we are currently doing. We have had so many talented young men coming up and suddenly, they just disappear off the scene, while our cricket continues to decline. Nobody appears to care about them.”
Lara said there was too much bickering and fighting between players and administrators, and it appeared that people in top positions did not understand their roles.
He said he was approached some months ago by T&T Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath to get involved in the administration.
“Mr Bassarath had suggested that I should get involved and he and his Board would seriously consider supporting me. I am here in Australia with most of the top administrators and players, and even they appear to be concerned at the state of our cricket. The way they speak is like they have little faith in our future. I am ready to get involved.”
Contacted, T&TCB president Bassarath said he was delighted that someone of Lara’s stature was interested in taking charge of West Indies cricket. “I believe that Brian would be an ideal person to lead West Indies cricket, and as a matter of fact, I approached him a few months ago about such a possibility. But unfortunately, he is too late for us to nominate him for the elections which will take place on Saturday. The constitution of the WICB does not allow us to nominate him at this late stage, since nominations closed one month before the elections.”
Bassarath said that his Board would be supporting another former West Indies cricketer, Joel Garner, on Saturday. The T&TCB will also support Baldath Mahabir as vice-president.
Bassarath said he hopes that whoever wins the elections would heal the current wounds in West Indies cricket and lift the region’s credibility. He said it was reassuring and refreshing to know that whatever the outcome of the elections, Lara was waiting in the wings for the chance to serve. “The presence of someone as great as Lara on the West Indies Board can give us so much credibility and stature in the eyes of the rest of the world. It’s a pity he is unable to be part of this year’s process.”
Incumbent Dave Cameron will contest Garner for the job at the WICB’s annual general meeting on Saturday.
Cameron has been under fire for his handling of the recent aborted tour of India, and has angered West Indian fans with a retweet of an attack of West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle, which suggested that he should pack up and leave West Indies cricket.