Members of the local cricket community are excited that former West Indies captain Brian Lara has shown interest in running for presidency of the West Indies Cricket Board, but suggested that the legendary left-hander should take steps towards his goal.
In an exclusive interview with the T&T Guardian on Sunday, Lara, who is currently doing television commentary at the World Cup in Australia/New Zealand, said he is concerned with the state of West Indies cricket and will not hesitate in accepting a nomination for the top post. However, Lara’s interest comes too late for Saturday’s elections which pits the incumbent Dave Cameron, against former West Indies fast bowler Joel Garner.
Former national cricketer and footballer, Alvin Corneal says if Lara is given the opportunity in the future, he will be successful. Corneal said: “I like the thought of Brian, unlike former presidents, Brian is an educator and a cricketer. This experience will help him do the job.”
Corneal wants Lara to get his feet wet before doing such an important job. “I hope the T&T Cricket Board will allow him to be part of the board to get experience. He has the stature and credibility, as well as the intelligence to go with the job.”
Cameron has been under fire following the West Indies’ abandoned tour of India last year, and a controversial tweet recently concerning West Indies opener Chris Gayle. Corneal said he doubted that Cameron will step down to make room for Lara. “I think he wants the job so badly, he won’t (step down). Following the situation with Gayle on Twitter, other WICB members should have asked Cameron to resign. He really is not fit to lead our cricket.”
Corneal added: “Joel Garner has a reputation on the field, he has a level head, there is no question he is better than Cameron. Joel needs to get that chance.”
Former West Indies cricketer Bryan Davis echoed Corneal’s sentiments of Corneal. “The type of personality that Cameron is, I don’t think he will (step down), but a change needs to be made.”
Davis was a bit surprised by Lara’s wish to run for presidency. “I find it strange, but I admire his courage. It is not the best job for someone who lacks experience at an administrative level. I guess he (Lara) is just fed up with West Indies cricket.”
Davis believes Lara should work his way up the ladder, stating that Cameron and Garner both had administrative experience at a lower level before throwing their hats in the ring. “But I have no doubt that he will bring a tremendous amount of good to the post.”
Former West Indies Players Association president Dinanath Ramnarine and former West Indies manager Omar Khan both support Lara, and called for Cameron and Garner to make way for him to take up the leadership. Ramnarine said: “I think it is important for people like Lara, former players, to show interest in the job.”
The former West Indies spinner said there must be a change. “If players don’t perform they are dropped, if an administration is not performing he should go, they are only looking after their best interest. We can’t have the same thing happening over and over.”
Khan stated: “I hope he maintains his interest. He is a great ambassador for the game, he has earned admiration in the world of cricket.”
Khan said he was surprised that Lara’s interest was made so late. “I wish this had happened before the nomination deadline. Lara’s interest is good for West Indies cricket. I hope this can happen in the future, but there are procedures in place. After cricket he got into various businesses and he has been successful. His business skills and cricket skills will help him do the job. And more importantly he is respected for all of his achievements.”