The WICB is hurting West Indies cricket

by

April 09, 2016
@Normal:From left: West Indies players Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle.
@Normal:WICB president Dave Cameron
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Western Bureau:

I never thought anything could spoil the joy I felt after watching the West Indies male and female teams win their respective 2016 ICC World T20 cricket finals until I read a report that Dave Cameron, the embattled president of West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), had apologised for statements made by skipper Daren Sammy during the post match presentation ceremony.

I am absolutely sure that Sammy and his teammates, especially the most senior ones, could not have appreciated Cameron's unsolicited apology because it was unwarranted since the skipper spoke the truth. Additionally, he could not be apologising for the Caribbean people because I am sure our representative, the CARICOM leaders, would have concurred with what was said.

As I have stated repeatedly in this column, I find Cameron's continued presence as president of the WICB most irritating. As far as I am concerned, he lacks the qualities and skills required to be an effective leader. In addition, his many shortcomings are not only a platform for an acrimonious relationship with the players but are also unwanted distractions.

Personally, I believe that after the ill-fated 2014 Indian tour, where the players were forced to abort the tour because they felt that their best interests were not being represented properly by either the leadership of the WIBC or the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), Cameron would have packed his bags and departed. However, sadly, he has decided to hang on for reasons best known to him.

If one should look back at the history of disputes between the WICB and the players, in every single instance, especially in the numerous cases that went to arbitration, the board not only emerged as the party at fault but as seriously flawed outfit.

CARICOM INTERVENTION

I remember when star batsman Christopher Gayle lashed out in his 2010 interview on a local station, the board was so ill-equipped to handle the matter professionally that it took the intervention of several CARICOM leaders to split justice and in the process ensure that Gayle did not fall prey to victimisation.

One only needs to revisit president Cameron's "can't get a run" retweet, which surfaced at a time when Gayle was struggling for run and was seen by many as an attempt to poke fun at the star batsman. Whether or not it was meant to ridicule Gayle or not, it was in such poor taste that I am sure Gayle must have been deeply offended.

With so many missteps in its acrimonious relationship with the players, it is not difficult to understand why Sammy had no difficulty in criticising the WICB on one of the biggest cricketing stages in the world. The truth is, the players have no respect for the board and the board is the cause of it.

ACT SMARTLY

Personally, I believe that if this board had the capacity to act smartly, its leadership would have taken the high roads after the debacle and kept their promise to CARICOM not to victimise the so-called ringleaders after agreeing to bury the hatchet. Instead, the board seems hell-bent on stirring up more bad blood to the detriment of the region's cricket.

I have been a fan of West Indies cricket ever since I first developed an interest in the region's cricket during India's 1972 tour of the Caribbean. Having had the pleasure of enjoying the era in which the likes of Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Andy Roberts dominated the world, I feel I have a right to want the best for our cricket.

So while I continue to enjoy the double success at the recent ICC World T20 tournament, I also want to see the West Indies team becoming a major force in ODI and Test cricket. Since I am absolutely convinced that our current structure won't take us there, like our CARICOM leaders, I want to see the current board booted out.

P.S.: Feel free to send your feedback to adrianfrater@hotmail.com.

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