KINGSTOWN: Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has criticized the leadership of West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron and called for his firing or resignation as head of the regional entity.
Dr. Gonsalves was angered by Cameron’s handling of the recent players’ contract impasse, which resulted from a disputed Memorandum of Understanding and the subsequent abandonment of a tour of India by the West Indies one-day team.
His remarks come six weeks ahead of the WICB annual general meeting, when Cameron will be up for re-election.
“I hope the respective boards in the territories tell him to take a break and come back at a later date, perhaps with more mature, renewed skills of leadership.
“I think his leadership in this regard has been extremely poor and has embarrassed us before the world. I happen to know certain facts which draw me to the conclusion that it is his sole leadership that led to the premature end of the tour of India.
“And I believe he bears heavy responsibility and he should withdraw himself from any consideration for any leadership or from his term,” said Gonsalves.
The Vincentian leader has played a central role in trying to resolve the impasse that ensued when West Indies players walked off a one-day tour of India, following the fourth ODI in Dharamsala last October.
The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) blamed the WICB for the abandonment, and subsequently lodged a claim of nearly US$42 million in damages.
Gonsalves said while the players needed to bear some responsibility in the matter, the ultimate burden rested on Cameron.
“It doesn’t mean that the players were not to have showed greater restraint in the interest of the region,” he said. “But you can’t send people there (India) without a contract and then your attitude to them was that you aren’t talking to them. And his attitude also to the Indian board was quite dismissive.”
Gonsalves said he planned to engage regional grouping, CARICOM, on how best to go about ensuring the BCCI claim was properly addressed.
“And I am engaged in this matter not to help Dave Cameron, who I am satisfied is the person primarily responsible for this debacle,” he said. “But I want to assist West Indies cricket which is bigger than Dave Cameron.
“Any way I can help, I will help.”