By Ravi Madholall
Based on information emanating out of the Caribbean, incumbent president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron is likely to retain his seat.
But the final decision will be known on Sunday when the Elections will be held in his native country Jamaica.
Since his appointment in 2013, Cameron has received severe criticism from the West Indian cricketing fraternity for not making a greater impact particularly when it comes to the association with many high-profile players.
However, leading up now to this highly anticipated clash with former West Indies team manager Ricky Skeritt, who is receiving a series of supports from past players for his good intention to bring a sense of new leadership to Windies’ cricket.
Iconic batsman and successful World Cup captain Clive Lloyd has given Skeritt full credit for his work with various administrations and strongly backs him to replace Cameron for this prestigious position at the helm.
Apart from the Guyanese Lloyd, former West Indies fast-bowler Andy Roberts and his fellow Leeward Islands teammate, the great Vivian Richards have also believed that Skeritt deserves to be the leader of the WICB.
Another former distinguished West Indies cricketer, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is at the other side of the crease though as he throws his support behind Cameron.
Chanderpaul, the most-capped test player for the region and Guyanese left-handed stated that his main reason to support Cameron because of his implementation towards the regional four-day double-round format. Chanderpaul, who was appointed coach of the successful Guyana Jaguars team earlier this year says: “As a player for two decades and now a coach with the most successful franchise in the West Indies region, I have come to appreciate the tremendous work that administrators have to do behind the scene. I observe the recent development regarding the upcoming elections at Cricket West Indies, and would like to endorse the Cameron/Nanthan ticket.”
“My reason is simple. Over the past five years with the introduction of the franchise system, cricket in the Caribbean has seen quite an improvement. Mr. Cameron, despite many challenges, has been able to stabilize West Indies cricket and he deserves a chance to continue to contribute to our growth and development in the region.”
Cameron will have Emmanuel Nathan as his vice-president and the two have received tremendous support as well as Barbados, Guyana and Windward Islands have already given their votes while Trinidad and Tobago and Leeward Islands have backed Skeritt and Dr. Kishore Shallow. The other territorial board Jamaica has not made a decision yet who they will support, but speculation is high that they will hand their countryman the one more vote unless there is a last-minute decision from the voters.
Meanwhile, over the years, Cameron may be delighted with some of the successes by the West Indian teams in all three versions. Of recent, the Caribbean boys defeated a touring English tem 2-1 in the three-match test series while he can still be basking in glory they are the World T20 champions. Since the shortest version was introduced in 2007, West Indies have won the trophies on two occasions but under the captaincy of Windward Islands’ all-rounder Darren Sammy. For the president role, Sammy is bowling differently against Cameron as he publicly mentioned that voters must not be [fooled] by Cameron and should be toppled by Skeritt on the deciding day.
“Do not believe in any last-minute political propaganda. Cameron only cares about himself, and he cares little about West Indies cricket and the cricketers. I have worked under the leadership of both Dave Cameron and Emmanuel and I can honestly say for sure these two do not have the cricket at heart. And for this reason, I am asking the CWI voters to do the right thing this coming Sunday in Jamaica and vote for change,” Sammy, who captained West Indies in test cricket also, declared.