Former England and Barbados cricketer Roland Butcher has agreed with Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) decision not to support the bid of its former president Dave Cameron for the top position of chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
CWI has not openly supported or nominated anyone for the position and that includes the 49-year-old Cameron. The United States of America Cricket Hall of Fame nominated Cameron and he subsequently requested CWI to second that nomination which they turned down. CWI’s decision shocked many and drew criticism even from Barbados Cricket Association president Conde Riley who suggested the region should be supportive of its own.
To be elected, cricket’s world governing body outlined that candidates must be a present or former ICC board member. But current CWI vice-president Kishore Shallow made it clear some time ago that they would not be supporting anyone. Earlier this year during a radio interview in Jamaica, Shallow said: “I will have my reservations in the fact that just over a year ago, I challenged Dave Cameron’s leadership for what I believe is great reasons. I seriously have questions over his performance as a leader and based on those reasons, I will not be able to support him at this time.”
Butcher told Barbados TODAY that though it may appear as personal to some people, he believed CWI made the right call because Cameron did not have a chance of succeeding.
“We must understand the situation. Most people see this as David Cameron asked Cricket West Indies and the West Indies cricket board said no. To be ICC chairman, it is a completely different situation. First and foremost you have to be a director or ex-director. You have to have at least two boards nominate you before you even get in the race.
“It was a Hall of Fame in the United States who put forward Cameron’s name and they have no say at all. What other countries would support him? India is not going to support him because they have Sourav Ganguly. England is not going to support, Australia is not going to support and Pakistan would have somebody. So, right off, I don’t think he had a chance.
“Even the way it came about through a Hall of Fame. West Indies were put in a position that they said no and they did not have any choice. People would feel it is a personal thing against Cameron. But the Hall of Fame has no say, they can’t recommend anybody for anything,” Butcher said.
He added: “India, England and Australia right now really control things. West Indies right now have been in decline for years. Do you think ICC would want somebody from the West Indies right now running international cricket?”
Former President of the Singapore Cricket Association Imran Khwaja is the interim chairman of ICC until elections. Khwaja replaced former chairman and Indian lawyer Shashank Manohar who held the seat for two terms.
Recognised as the first black man to play Test cricket for England in 1980, Butcher is of the view that it has been a long while since West Indies dominated world cricket and therefore one of their own would hardly be allowed to run the affairs of world cricket.
“You cannot even be successful in your cricket but you want to run the world game? It is like somebody coming and wanting to be the coach of the Barbados team, they have never coached a team before at any level. They have never won anything and expect to be the coach, it is impossible.
“As a West Indies unit, we have no say at the ICC level besides when we attend the meetings, because we are at the bottom of the pile. Unless you can get goodwill from the top teams, I think now the West Indies has some goodwill with England because of what they did this summer, So England would try to support them in certain things. But that’s the only way we can operate right now and that is to have some goodwill from the top sides,” he said.
Adamant that nobody from the West Indies would get anywhere near that chairmanship position right now, Butcher suggested that the legendary Sir Clyde Walcott, a former West Indies manager and ICC chairman, only got the latter position because of West Indies’ dominance during that time.
“Sir Clyde Walcott would have gotten that position when they were rotating and we were a dominant force then. But right now you got a seat at the table but they are certain decision-makers and apparently, we are not one of them,” Butcher explained.
Interestingly, Singapore, from which the current interim chairman Khwaja and one of the frontrunners for the post originates, along with New Zealander Greg Barclay, is not even a full member of the International Cricket Council.