Dave Cameron has been re-elected WICB president for a second term, till 2017, after the Jamaican defeated his sole challenger, former West Indies fast bowler Joel Garner, with a convincing 8 votes to 4 margin. Cameron further stamped his authority when his deputy Emmanuel Nanthan won the vice-presidency elections for the second successive time, defeating Trinidad & Tobago businessman Baldath Mahabir also by an 8-4 margin.
The elections, which were held in Kingston on Saturday as part of the WICB annual general meeting, assumed particular importance since Cameron had received a lot of criticism for his handling of West Indies’ pull-out from the India tour last year.
Players, both current and former, and politicians, including prime ministers in the Caribbean, wanted Cameron to take the responsibility for the India debacle and resign after Dwayne Bravo and his team decided to abandon the tour midway into the ODI series last October. Consequently, the BCCI slapped a $42.7 million claim on the WICB, to cover damages from the loss of revenue.
The relations between the WICB and the players became extremely strained and it all came out in the open after Chris Gayle questioned the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel’s decision to omit Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the World Cup squad. Gayle was pulled up by the WICB disciplinary panel even as the team was in the middle of the World Cup campaign.
Despite the growing criticism, though, Cameron remained steadfast during their campaign, the Cameron camp proudly listing their achievements: installing a professional franchise structure at the domestic level, improving relations with the West Indies Players Association, and putting in place a fresh memorandum of understanding with the players that should lend financial security to not just the internationals but also to players from the regional teams.
Cameron’s detractors, meanwhile, said that under Cameron’s watch the WICB had lost respect, especially in the eyes of powerful BCCI. Garner, in his manifesto, said he wanted to help West Indies cricket strengthen its base and climb up the ladder once again. But Garner, who was nominated by his native Barbados Cricket Association and supported by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, was aware of Cameron’s dominance. Leading up to the elections, Cameron had secured the support of four WICB members – Guyana, Windward Islands, Leeward Island and his home country, Jamaica. Garner’s camp hoped that people might change their mind on voting day, but it did not happen.