Dubai: Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, former president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) is the only official to have made his plans public to run for the post of chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) to succeed India’s Shashank Manohar. However, the Jamaican who is unlikely to garner the support of his own board for the nominations, is under no illusions.
The ICC is expected to announce the guidelines for the elections by next week, but the world governing body of cricket may not be exactly in a hurry to do so as their Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held in Cape Town later this month, has been postponed with the global travel restrictions yet to be eased due to the coronavirus pandemic. While Imran Khwaja, the erstwhile vice-chairman to Manohar, is now officiating ever since the latter’s resignation on July 1, the two names which have been doing the rounds as frontrunners are that of Colin Graves (chairman of England & Wales Cricket Board) and Sourav Ganguly, the charismatic former Indian captain and now president of the Indian board.
‘‘Let me admit that I am no comparison to Ganguly. If ‘Dada’ eventually decides to announce his candidature, he will get Asia’s support and he has been an awesome character for the things he has done for the sport. However, if he is not in the running, then it will be a great opportunity for me,’’ said a candid Cameron, the 49-year-old who was served at the helm of West Indies cricket for six years between 2013 and 2019.
Speaking to Gulf News during an exclusive interview over phone from Jamaica on Friday, Cameron reserved strong words of praise for Manohar - who had rubbed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the wrong way by scuttling their plans of a ‘Big Three’ hegemony in the ICC. ‘‘I would like congratulate him (Manohar) as he followed an ideal during his tenure. If there was any difference in opinion in the board, he always wanted us to come around through discussion,’’ he said, before adding that it’s not possible to win a popularity contest if one is in a position of power.
‘‘I believe in the theory that everyone starts liking you in a position of responsibility, then there’s something wrong in you while if everyone starts hating you, then also you are not getting it right. However, I had been running businesses since the age of 22 years and have the experience in man-management,’’ he said.
As per the ICC norms, Cameron needs two nominations for his candidature to be valid and he is expected to approach his own board for its nomination. However, the current CWI president Ricky Skerritt - who in March 2019 had ended the six-year reign of Cameron - got into a public spat with the Jamaican following an audit conducted by external and independent auditors Pannell Kerr Foster (PKF) which was released in May.
In the run-up to the CWI presidency last year, Skerritt, a former cabinet minister for St Kitts and Nevis, had stated that the “insensitivity and stubbornness” of Cameron had created a poor relationship with West Indies’ players and coaches.
‘‘Yes, the West Indies board is not supportive at the moment. I will continue to appeal to all Boards and if they feel that they need an independent chairman in true sense of the term, then hopefully I can garner their support,’’ said Cameron, under whose regime the country saw the introduction of the popular Caribbean Premier League.
What would be Cameron’s agenda should he be given a chance to govern world cricket? ‘‘See, world cricket has to change the way it’s run now. We have to think about the interest of countries like the West Indies, Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka. My agenda will be to make cricket a truly global sport with 200 countries playing it, not 104 (the current number of members),’’ he said.
However, the West Indian is pragmatic enough to appreciate that the support of Asian block is a necessity to prevail in these elections and he had already approached Ganguly and Ehsan Mani, the chairman of Pakistan Cricket board (PCB). Asked if his feelers are not contradictory to his stance of expanding the game beyond the clutches of India, England and Australia, Cameron had his reply ready: ‘‘You see, elections are elections as you need to win votes. However, once it’s over, it boils down to governance.’’