Says Orin Davidson
If it was a decision deemed disingenuous at best in the beginning, the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) plan to vote for Whycliffe “Dave ‘Cameron in the West Indies Cricket Board presidential election this weekend is fast becoming a major travesty, as the fallout continues.
As more evidence emerge of Cameron’s disdain for efficient leadership of the Regional sport, the GCB’s decision is lending stronger credence to the notion that sports administrators in general don’t think twice about sacrificing a sport’s development for personal gain.
West Indies cricket has long been ruined by such heartless opportunists and no end seems in sight.
The latest WICB transgression of an infinite list, orchestrated by the Cameron- led administration left the WICB with that US $42 million debt hanging around its neck and shattered relations with the cricket’s financial powerhouse, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The evidence clearly indicts the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as the main cause for the Regional team’s walkout from the India tour last year, which resulted in the biggest claim of losses by any international cricket body from a fellow ruling organization.
It would’ve rendered the head of any self-respecting organization responsible for such a debacle, history as leader. Cameron’s resignation and that of his lieutenants should’ve been automatic, given that the India fiasco is just the most recent of WICB missteps that have ruined West Indies’ reputation as a major player in world competition.
Remarkably though, Cameron announced his intention to seek re-election at the pending elections and more shockingly , the GCB’s secretary Anand Sanasie boldly proclaimed their support for the former, being challenged by former West Indies player Joel ‘Big Bird’ Garner.
Over the years Guyana has distinguished itself for not only producing great cricketers, but outstanding administrators as well, the likes of Stephen Camacho, Norman McLean, Frederick Rampersaud and Fred Wills among others.
However, the current GCB executive has thrust that reputation into the dustbin of ignominy with its decision to back one of the most reviled of all WICB presidents.
Even in his home country of Jamaica, key stake holders have been forced to rise above parochialism to condemn Cameron’s leadership skills, including ex ace fast bowler Michael Holding, former WICB president Pat Rousseau and journalist HG Helps.
The Jamaica Cricket Association executives’ decision to reject Cameron’s bid, which was overturned by an island-wide club vote, has also been criticized there by folks who know better.
In a recent Jamaica radio interview, Cameron blamed WICB CEO Michael Muirhead for not providing the team with contracts before the India tour that led to the walkout. Yet he cannot explain why the official still has a job under his watch. Head team coach Ottis Gibson was sacked mere months before the World Cup, yet a replacement was not had to guide the struggling squad in the sport’s biggest competition.
Cameron’s endorsement of a negative fan reaction via social media outlet Twitter, directed at West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle’s performance in the current World Cup, has intensified the revulsion at the Jamaican’s unsuitability to lead the Regional body.
It is clear, Cameron doesn’t care much about West Indies cricket, it’s all about what he wants egoistically and otherwise.
Gayle was highly critical of the decision to drop regulars Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard from the World Cup side, which was endorsed by the Board via its selectors.
So Cameron used the first opportunity to get back at the player, even if it meant demoralizing him to the team’s detriment in the world’s biggest competition.
In recent times, Guyanese fans have arguably suffered more than regional supporters at the hands of the Cameron administration, as the team’s fortunes have sunk to such embarrassing lows, former Australia Test captain Ian Chappell has classified it as the latest minnow in world competition.
International cricket has been absent from these shores going on two years, leaving fans , the most passionate of all Regionally, starved to the core. The scheduled New Zealand Test for Providence stadium was pulled at the last minute in 2013. More recently Guyana was removed as a host for England in the series set for later this year. The WICB president then disrespected the Office of the President with an excessive demand, during negotiations in the crafting of an unnecessary Cricket Administration Bill, recently signed into law.
This regrettable state of affairs could’ve been avoided without the WICB’s ineptitude in taking control to resolve the problems here that led to an undesirable Government intervention.
So why has the GCB ignored all the ignominy to back Cameron with its two votes?
The Guyana Chronicle recently quoted Sanasie, explaining that proposals made to them by Cameron influenced their decision. Why the secretary declined to reveal the nature of the proposals is anybody’s guess. The public knows though that Cameron and Sanasie, who could be safely considered the GCB’s de facto president in light of the invisible leader elected Drubahadur, have been longstanding allies.
Cameron has sided with Sanasie and crew, in every recent controversy here including allegations of fraudulent elections and misuse of money.
Also, could one of Cameron’s so-called proposals be not to investigate other serious allegations of transferring of GCB assets into a private company owned by current GCB executives, years before the franchise system for the WICB territories was introduced last year?
It is a pity the WICB president was not coerced by local media to explain such travesties when he was given the honor by Sanasie and crew of addressing the GCB’s presentation ceremony last December.
So far the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands are also planning to give Cameron their votes.
In the case of the Windwards it is a blatant care of blind bias for Emanuel Nanthan, a representative of that territory, who is Cameron’s running mate for WICB vice president.
Similarly, the Leeward Islands directors seemingly have more to gain for themselves as opposed to the sport, with their decision, which reportedly is being questioned by the Antigua Board.
Garner, a member of the all-conquering West Indies Dream Team of the late 1970s and 80’s plans to place the squad’s interests first, unlike Cameron’s actions, if he is elected. He identifies among other shortcomings, a lack of stamina fitness among players, elucidated by eminent columnist Tony Cozier, a problem regularly highlighted in this space.
In addition ‘Big Bird” intends to use diplomacy, a quality his opponent clearly lacks, to mend relations with India, which has since severed ties with the WICB.
After doing well in preparing the national team which is about to win the 2015 West Indies four-day competition title after placing second in the 50-overs a side version, following similar success at Under-19 and Under-15 levels in recent years, the Guyana Cricket Board has erased its accomplishments with its support for Cameron.
Sanasie and crew should be ashamed of themselves.