West Indies Cricket Board president, Dave Cameron, has made no apology for his controversial leadership style but says mutual respect must be the critical element in the relationship between himself and senior players.
During his tenure as president, the Jamaican has come under fire from some players and critics who have often lambasted his leadership approach but the region’s chief cricket administrator pushed back on the idea that likeability was important in achieving harmonious relations with the West Indies team.
“The players don’t play for Dave Cameron. The players play for West Indies and for the region,” Cameron was quoted by the Observer newspaper as saying on a radio sports show here this week.
“My style is what it is and you don’t have to like your boss to work with him. Once you can respect each other’s position, then I think we could move forward.”
Cameron’s hands-off approach was blamed for the collapsed tour of India two years ago which resulted in an impasse with the powerful Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) and a subsequent claim of US$42 million in damages.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who helped mediate the impasse between the board and the players during that dispute, also described Cameron’s leadership as “poor” and “embarrassing” and argued he needed to take a break from his current role and return when he had developed more “mature, renewed skills of leadership.”
And Twenty20 star, Dwayne Bravo, slammed him as “arrogant and immature” for his relationship with the team during the successful Twenty20 World Cup campaign earlier this year.
But Cameron, who will shortly be seeking a third consecutive term at the helm, says he was driven in large part by his respect for the players.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the talents of our players and former players and that’s why we do what we do,” he pointed out.
“I’ve been in cricket for well over 35 years. It’s not something I started doing last week, so I have a very great and deep appreciation for the game and for our legends, which is why I do what I do.”
Last month, the WICB moved to improve its relations with players by hosting them in a symposium in Fort Lauderdale. The event was aimed at improving dialogue on controversial issues like the Memorandum of Understanding/Collective Bargaining Agreement, and player eligibility.
Cameron said the success of the venture would only be assessed with time.
“Where we are will be better known when we see the results of the discussion,” he noted.
“The major issue is always around the eligibility of the players to participate in West Indies cricket, and we had some very fruitful discussions and some ideas.
“I am expecting some kind of a draft or suggestions or recommendations coming through to the WICB for us to review,” he said.