There are too many unsolved mysteries surrounding the current regime of the WICB. Instead of unity being forged between the Board and its players, the opposite is the case, mainly because of indecisive leadership. I was particularly supportive of Dave Cameron as against Dr Julian Hunte the last time. However, his tenure has been riddled with controversy which I do not believe he can withstand for a second term. His latest insensitive retweeted criticism of Chris Gayle is an indication of his temperamental personality. The WICB remains indebted to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and unconfirmed reports suggest that should Mr Joel Garner assume the presidency, India’s claim for compensation from the ill-fated, aborted WI tour to the country may be reconsidered. Perhaps this is enough reason for Mr Cameron to depart since the debt is quite burdensome.
The issue of why the WICB under Dr Hunte and now Mr Cameron failed to address the constitutionality of the Guyana Cricket Board despite numerous calls by key stakeholders including the Berbice Cricket Board and sections of the Demerara Cricket Board, remains a mystery. It is unacceptable, and the new administration must ensure that the GCB is held accountable in accordance with the country’s laws, relative to the Cricket Administration Bill.
While Mr Cameron is not to be blamed for the crass omission of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the World Cup squad, there is enough suspicion to deem it as victimization, given the duo’s role in the abrupt abandonment of the Indian tour. It is certainly not business as usual and a new direction is needed under new leadership.
I recently read a part of Mr Garner’s vision of restoring pride to West Indies cricket, which he declared is important. His action plan to take definitive steps to elevate WI rankings, review the Board’s structure, consult with Caricom, manage financial resources better, give attention to youth cricket, etc, encompasses just a few of the target areas to which Mr Garner would have accurately bowled his ball. These are sensitive areas, and only someone with an intimate knowledge of and vast experience in playing and managing the game will succeed.
It will therefore be to the WICB’S advantage to give the reins of leadership to the former West Indies bowling icon and current President of the Barbados Cricket Association, Mr Joel Garner. His former team mate and another bowling giant Sir Andy Roberts is of the same view, and so are many other former and current West Indian players. The Guyana Cricket Board has agreed to support Mr Cameron for re-election, which is perhaps not surprising given Mr Cameron’s dormant stance regarding the legitimacy of the GCB. However, Mr Garner may just be the man to bowl at the pace needed to break the shackles (stumps) on March 8, when the WICB holds its AGM.