Western Grandstand ; A master stroke by Dave Cameron
I have never been a fan of the leadership style of Dave Cameron, the president of Cricket West Indies. To me, he gave the impression of being an uncompromising 'my-way-or-the-highway' type of person.
However, in analysing the recent apology he issued to West Indies batsman Darren Bravo, I saw a side of Cameron I never knew existed. I never felt he would have acknowledged making a mistake, so to have admitted such and apologised was for me a class act, which I believe should be lauded.
This act of decency on Cameron's part makes me wonder if, over the years, I had been misreading his brutally frank stance on various issues as arrogance.
In fact, I am now forced to believe that he might not be as insensitive as I believed he was.
What particularly impressed me was the fact that an apology is something that he did not have to do because, unlike Darren Bravo, he was not under threat of any sanction. What he did was not something many bosses would have done.
Against that background, if I was an adviser to Darren Bravo, I would encourage him to apologise to Cameron privately because what Cameron did should also be an important lesson to him. Essentially, it is showing that being combative is not only about standing up, but also exercising common sense for the greater good.
On another matter, I don't know what role Cameron played in the eligibility amnesty, which will allow many of the region's top players to return to the fold. If he had a hand in it, that too was a masterstroke. After seeing Afghanistan beating an under-strength West Indies team recently, there is no question that we need to get our best players representing us.
I believe that now thatthe window of goodwill has been opened, every effort should be made in terms of a major fence-mending mission between Cricket West Indies, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), the senior players and the leadership of CARICOM.
We should use this opportunity to lay the foundation that is needed to really start the rebuilding of the region's cricket. I believe loyal fans, who have been embracing West Indies cricket through thick and thin, need to be taken out of their misery which has gone on for far too long.
Until a few weeks ago, I felt that West Indies cricket was in a hopeless state. However, in recent days, as I watched the new spirit of goodwill now taking root, I am getting a sense that a new day is dawning, albeit that I still embrace the view that, 'one swallow does not make a summer.'
So as not to squander the new gains, I would recommend that a respected individual like former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson should be engaged to chair a closed-door 'truth and reconciliation' style meeting with Cricket West Indies, WIPA, CARICOM and the senior players to settle all lingering differences. I believe that if we can get all the parties to have a shared vision, we will be on our way to making West Indies cricket an enviable product once again.
Once again, I must commend Cameron for the bold and decisive step he has taken to end the downward spiral in West Indies. For those who felt that Cameron should not have apologised, I do hope the day will come when they will come to see the value of his action.