President of Cricket West Indies Dave Cameron has put the responsibility of reforming and restructuring the organization in the laps of regional political leaders.
In a SportsMax interview in Jamaica on Monday, the embattled Cameron said the power to reform and restructure the regional cricket governing body lies with the political leaders if they so desired; adding that it was not his sole responsibility to undertake reform.
The beleaguered Cameron, who faces a challenge for the presidency of the organization on the weekend, argued that any governance restructuring needed to be initiated by the territorial boards which comprised CWI, and pointed out that the regional prime ministers pushing for reform could “instruct” the domestic associations accordingly.
“The prime ministers believe that the structure needs to change – the structure is not Dave Cameron’s structure, the structure is West Indies cricket’s structure,” Cameron said.
“For the structure to change, all the territorial boards would have to say ‘this is what we want’ and these prime ministers are prime ministers of these countries. All they need to do is instruct their boards to change the structure accordingly. Why is that Dave Cameron’s problem?”
Cameron has come under pressure from CARICOM in recent years to enact recommended CWI reforms, for greater transparency and accountability in the organization.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada and DR. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago have been especially vocal in their criticisms of Cameron and his management of the organization.
Mitchell, in his previous role as chair of CARICOM’s subcommittee on cricket, has repeatedly questioned Cameron’s leadership and only last month said he did not think the Jamaican’s “attitude and mindset will take West Indies cricket forward”.
Gonsalves, has in the past condemned Cameron’s management style as “extremely poor” and ahead of the 2015 CWI elections, urged territorial boards to tell the incumbent to “take a break and come back at a later date, perhaps with more mature, renewed skills of leadership”.
Rowley, too, has been critical of the CWI leadership, saying West Indies cricket had been “hijacked by a small clique of people”.
But the incumbent Cameron, who has been defending his record in the run-up to the elections, said contrary to popular belief, he enjoyed a very good relationship with CARICOM prime ministers and it was only “two or three” with whom he did not see eye to eye.
“It is not CARICOM – and we keep saying CARICOM. There are two or three prime ministers who have a view,” he contended.
“There are a number of other prime ministers who have a contrary view and if you know prime ministers, they are not going to come out publicly and fight against each other and Prime Minister Gonsalves and Mitchell are elder statesmen within the CARICOM setup.”
He continued: “But we have excellent relationships with Prime Minister [Allen] Chastanet [of St Lucia], Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica – the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister [Gaston Browne] has written me a note publicly supporting what we are doing.
“[We have] relationships with the Prime Minister of Barbados (Mia Mottley) … as a matter of fact I have a personal relationship with Gonsalves and Prime Minister Mitchell as well. So again, we have no personal issues.”
Cameron is being challenged in Sunday’s CWI elections by former St Kitts and Nevis cabinet minister, Ricky Skerritt, while vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan is up against Dr Kishore Shallow. Cameron and Nanthan are bidding for a fourth successive term after being first elected in 2013 when they toppled former St Lucian diplomat Julian Hunte.