Good move by the West Indies legends
While many Jamaicans, some because of insular reasons, have been lashing out against the CARICOM sub-committee on cricket for its call for the Dave Cameron-led West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to step aside and make way for a new governance structure for the region's cricket, I am firmly in support of the recommendation.
As I have stated repeatedly in this column, I am not a fan of Cameron's style of leadership, which to my mind is far too autocratic. As a consequence, I believe his lack of humility gives the impression that only his point of view is important to him.
After watching Cameron and his team basically snubbing recommendations from the likes of former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to embrace reform, I am extremely delighted that esteemed stars such as Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Andy Roberts have now joined the call for Cameron to make his exit.
As far as I am concerned, West Indies cricket is too important an institution to be treated as a mere sporting past-time. Except for the University of the West Indies, it is easily the biggest symbol of Caribbean integration and should not be allowed to be held to ransom by the current WICB leadership or anyone else for that matter.
Over recent weeks, I have heard some of those who are opposed to the call for the removal of Cameron and his team trying to use the recent success of the West Indies' men, women and Under-19 teams to justify him staying in the job but again, I beg to disagree in a big way, especially with regards to the men's team.
It might be true that the WICB was instrumental in the success of the women's team in terms of arranging numerous training camps and employing quality coaches, however, in terms of development of the game at the grassroots level, I believe the impact of the board has been minimal, if not non-existent.
Insofar as the Under-19 team is concerned, I believe their success has more to do with the cricket programme in the high schools across the region than any special development programmes by the WICB. In fact, I rather believe their success might have come as a big surprise to the board.
The senior men's team is a totally different affair and one need not go beyond the post championship game interview given by skipper Darren Sammy to realise the level of animosity between the WICB and the players. In fact, one got the impression that the players were primarily motivated by a desire to prove something to the board.
While we naturally welcome the success of the three teams on the world stage, for the real Caribbean cricket fans I don't believe they will ever be fully satisfied until the team is back on top in Test cricket. This to me is where the WICB is hurting the region the most because for what appears to be petty reasons, the best players are not being picked for Test duties.
Personally, I believe the current board has lost the respect of the vast majority of the Caribbean people and I rather suspect that there would wild celebrations should the mounting pressure cause them to step aside, possibly with the equally inept West Indies Players Association (WIPA) in tow.
However, as they have been doing for far too long, I expect that Cameron and his men will continue to put up resistance, hoping that the aggrieved parties will get tired of calling for them to resign . It is against that background that I would like to encourage Sir Gary, Sir Wes Sir Viv and Sir Andy to keep piling on the pressure until the breakthrough comes.
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