Submitted by DAVID A. COMISSIONG, Citizen of the Caribbean, and Lover of West Indies Cricket
In an article published in Barbados’ NATION Newspaper of Wednesday 21st June 2017 under the headline Sammy Slams CWI Over Decline, former West Indies cricket captain Darren Sammy stated as follows:-
I am very scared for the future of West Indies cricket …………I am scared that we might be relegated to the league of the Irelands and Scotlands, playing against these guys which is very, very sad — if something doesn’t change. And at the moment, the guy (Cricket West Indies president, Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron) has just been re-elected for another term. I can’t see it happening for us. It’s very sad for us.
I totally agree with Darren Sammy! West Indies cricket can go nowhere but DOWN under the immature, self-centered, and self-righteous leadership of current Cricket West Indies president Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and the social class that he is a representative of !
This is a matter that I addressed in a Newspaper article some two and a half years ago, at the time of the imbroglio involving Mr Cameron and the Cricket Board of India. That article was entitled “Deconstructing the WICB’s Dave Cameron And The Class That He Represents”.
In light of Darren Sammy’s poignant and righteous heartfelt CRY, I think it would be useful to re-publish the said article. I now do so as follows:-
“By a letter dated the 31st of October 2014, the “Board of Control For Cricket In India” (BCCI) wrote to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as follows:-
Dear Mr Cameron,
The WICB gave the BCCI a binding commitment that it will field its team in India for a total of 9 matches………..
On the eve of the first ODI in Kochi on 8th October 2014, you intimated to the BCCI that, on account of some disputes between you and your players, the WICB was considering pulling out of the tour………
Finally, after the fourth ODI at Dharamshala on 17th October 2014, you pulled out your team and communicated your decision to cancel the remainder of the Tour.
The adverse financial ramifications and the negative impact of your action to unilaterally cancel the remainder to the Tour was well within your understanding, yet you still went ahead and cancelled the Tour…………………
The consequences of cancellation….. is a monumental disaster for the BCCI…………… In plain economic terms, the BCCI can tentatively quantify its losses as ……… USD $41.97 Million.
The BCCI calls upon the WICB to formally inform the BCCI, in writing, of the steps it intends to take to compensate the BCCCI towards the losses quantified above as well as those losses yet to be quantified…………..
Pending resolutions of all disputes the BCCI suspends all bilateral cricketing relations with the WICB.
Hon. Secretary, BCCI
The President of the WICB – Mr Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron – received this chilling letter against the background of an earlier warning delivered to the WICB by their accountants – KPMG – that the WICB was already in such severe debt that there was “substantial doubt that the company (the WICB) will be able to continue as a going concern”.
Mr Cameron also received this letter in the full knowledge that he himself had contributed significantly to the escalation of the crisis that is now threatening to engulf and destroy West Indies cricket, by his prideful, obstinate and arrogant refusal to communicate any willingness on his part to compromise with the disaffected West Indian cricketers. (Yes, some blame can be attached to the players, but clearly the bulk of the blame has to be laid at the feet of Mr. Cameron and his fellow administrators, for, as leaders of the WICB, the proverbial buck stops with them.)
And so, what was Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron’s response to this situation of grave existential crisis facing the historic and crucial Caribbean institution that he has been entrusted with the sacred duty to lead, guide and protect?
Well, according to the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday 4th November 2014, one of Mr. Cameron’s responses was to avail himself of his internet Twitter account, and to tweet the following message to the world at large – and no doubt to the officials of the Indian Cricket Board:-
They’ve criticized you. They’ve doubted you. They’ve lied on you. They’ve done all they can do, but one thing they can’t do is stop you.
Really, Mr. Cameron? Is that the appropriate response to the life and death situation facing the WICB and West Indies cricket? Even when faced with such a monumental threat to the institutions that have been entrusted to your care, you still can’t see beyond your own personal interests, your own pride, your own sense of grievance? Even now, as we totter on the precipice, is it still all about you?
As far as I am concerned, the honourable and responsible thing for Mr. Cameron to do – in his capacity as President and leader of the WICB – is to publicly accept a considerable measure of responsibility for the fiasco that has taken place; to publicly apologize to the BCCI; and to resign from office, thereby clearing the path for a new and reconstituted WICB leadership to engage with the BCCI in an effort to negotiate away the financial death sentence that is currently hanging over the head of West Indies cricket.
But, I can assure you that this will never happen! And the reason it will not happen is because the members of the Caribbean social class that Mr. Cameron belongs to simply do not behave in that manner!
The sad reality throughout our Caribbean is that a new bourgeois class has taken over the key leadership positions in Government, in the professions, and in important areas of national and regional life such as Cricket Administration.
This is the class of crassly self-centered and opportunistic people who , in the 1980’s, we used to refer to as YUPPIES or BUPPIES. And it is such a self-absorbed class that its members find it extremely difficult to accept personal responsibility for anything, or to recognize that there are causes or institutions whose interests take precedence over their own personal individual interests.
These social elements have capitalized on the relative apathy and marginalization of the working class, and have constituted themselves into an entrenched elite or in-group, equipped with their own narrow group interests, and with a narrow, self-serving value system.
Furthermore, many, if not most, members of this “class” have convinced themselves that they are entitled as of right to positions of privilege, wealth and comfort in our societies. This, in turn, is manifested in their unceasing jockeying for and pursuit of positions of status – privileged “jobs” – in national and regional political and Administrative structures, not least of which is the leadership and administrative structure of the WICB.
Many, if not most, of them are contemptuous of the working class base from which they have sprung. As a result, they possess no substantial roots in our region’s history of race and class struggle, and are therefore incapable of truly appreciating the value of the fruits of such struggles – whether such “fruits” are the sacred cultural institution of West Indies Cricket or the famous Barbadian system of free secondary and tertiary education!
The same social element that is incapable of perceiving that the interests of the people’s institution of West Indies Cricket dwarfs their own personal interests, is the same social element that – in national governments throughout our region – is incapable of recognizing and defending the precious social-democratic gains that generations of Caribbean sufferers struggled so hard to achieve.
The masses of Caribbean people—the so-called ordinary citizens of the Caribbean– therefore cannot simply sit back and expect these supposed leaders to act responsibility and selflessly. They, at the very least, have to be pushed, and we have to be the ones pushing them – howling and screaming – in the direction of duty and responsibility!
Some form of determined mass activism has to emerge from the base of our Caribbean societies! If we want to preserve the WICB, West Indies Cricket, “free” education, public health care, welfare provisions, trade union power, worker rights, national sovereignty, and the list goes on – the people at the base of our societies and their institutions (trade unions, churches, sports clubs, community based organizations, cooperatives, credit unions etc. ) will have to bestir themselves and unite around a concrete people’s agenda.
West Indies cricket is as good a place as any to start! I therefore say – let there be such a loud and determined expression of outrage by the legions of ordinary cricket fans of the Caribbean, that Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron is forced – howling and screaming– to do the right thing!”
And so, we have a very serious structural class and socialization problem that we have to deal with, and it will not be easy to do so. Indeed, it will call for a determined, long term effort to bring about the transformation of culture and cultural values in our regional nation.
But let us at least — in the immediate short term– deal with the egregious problem of Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron !
As we continue to witness the tragic and humiliating constantly accelerating decline of West Indies cricket, it has become absolutely clear that the only “right thing” where Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron is concerned is that he MUST go !
Cameron must be removed from the leadership of West Indies cricket in order that committed servants of the game– cricketer patriots of the ilk of Darren Sammy for example and administrators who genuinely love and are committed to the game of Cricket –may take up and play their rightful roles in helping to revive and rebuild West Indies cricket.
The women’s team that was doing so well was bowled out today for less than 50 runs. The men’s ODI squad will have to qualify for world cup by playing the associates. The test team is in danger of falling below Afghanistan and Ireland that have just been admitted to test cricket. Now where is West Indies cricket going?
@ David Comissiong
There is no way to rid ourselves of this management culture except by the liberal use of a certain antiquarian device.
These people cannot be reformed. And even if you got the rid of one set, one generation, the system will breed their inheritors.
If we are serious, a line has to be drawn in the sand
WEST INDIES WIN!!!!! WELL DONE JASON 5 FER HOLDER.
I gine an watch de Queen’s plate.
Dave Cameron and his cohorts (according to David Commissiong) are behaving just like Maduro and company in Venezuela with the same results. Isn”t it ironic that Mr Commissiong wants the cricket fans to rise up and throw Cameron out which is just what the ordinary people of Venezuela are trying to do with Maduro.
Mr Cameron clearly demonstrated that he was unfit for any position at the WICB when he retweeted a negative comment about Mr Gayle during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. To make matters worse – the WICB did not take any disciplinary action against Mr Cameron.
So why was Cameron relected? And why does Barbados and Conde Riley follow him so slavishly?
The reasons for the abysmal performance of the West Indies team on the field are technical:
Failure to develop and execute effective bowling strategies (bowling is the most important factor in winning); failure to document and analyze the winning performances of our adversaries; overreliance on poorly educated, lower class players who are incapable of adjusting to the evolving strategies of their opponents, etc.
So David and Pachamama are totally off-base.
@ David at 5:50 PM
David C has answered your question in the body of his article. There is a new Barbadian and perhaps a new West Indian that does not share the old values. They are marching to a different drum. Reread Bush Tea’s quotation of Einstein on applying solutions to a problem that no longer exists.
Chad 99999 at 6: 20 PM
Poorly educated? Lower class players? Were not many WI players of the test winning epoch members of these same social strata? Surely these cannot be serious causes of the declining fortunes of West Indian cricket ? Inability to adjust to the evolving strategies perhaps. But strategy is not decided on the playing field. It is done in training sessions and in the dressing room.
Is it not a requirement for the players on the field to execute the strategy making adjustments based on the moment?
The class structure referred to by Mr Commissong is not only in cricket
seems not to understand that Test cricket in the 1960s, 70s and 80s was not as competitive as it is today. Back then, the game was not as popular in India and Pakistan so the talent pools were much smaller.
In other words, what worked for the West Indies 25 years ago isn’t good enough today. We need smarter, better trained players, who have the discipline to execute strategies that are carefully developed from detailed analyses of match data.
David @ 5:50 I isn’t that an old question with a well worn answer! Interestingly we have been here two years ago and the two before that. I am so out of the interest loop on WI cricket that I forgot elections were due.
It is self flaggelation to even consider the same debate (personally) on Cameron garnering (bad pun, maybe) the votes to win the election. Are we masochists here?
So your query on why Conde and Bdos support him is a bit passe considering how matters progressed last election…u don’t think!! Just wondering aloud.
@Bernard, I presume that anyone who knows WI cricket and makes that sort of remark they would have to be meeting mock sport or basically be an acolyte of cutting edge theories of genetic engineering. Where in this case this entire generation of cricketers are mentally incapable because of social and academic deficiencies engineered by nefarious individuals.
Either that or Chad45 plays the fool deliberately.
Because it is an old question it does not make it any less relevant.
Chad45 your comments 11:19 are part of an endless debate which really comes no rational end-game.
It is really difficult to compare eras first of all.
And the fact that cricket in India especially has grown exponentially bigger than possibly imagined cannot in itself be a determinant factor that our players are not disciplined enough to execute.
That is counter common-sensical.
Many of our players are exposed to the same coaches, training methods and data analytics as the tops stars worldwide and surely display discipline on several occasions in the past….how can you thus make such a simplistic statement.
Stop making mock sport and bring practical and proper analysis.
is being silly. Just because a West Indian player is “exposed” to a foreign coach who has worked for India, Australia or South Africa does NOT mean that the West Indian player has received the same training as his counterparts in these other countries.
Most coaches have special insights and proprietary knowledge that they reserve for their most important clients.
What is widely shared is coaching bull—-, like fitness training, team-building practices, and motivational guidance, none of which will provide the winning edge because everybody is doing the same thing.
As for data analytics, if you are claiming that the West Indiez has the same capabilities as the leading cricketing teams, you are lying.
De pedantic Dribbler
Chad9999 may have a point relative to the indiscipline of West Indies cricketers.
Over the past 15 – 20 years the WICB allowed players to “behave badly” on tours and rather than discipline them, they fired the management and coaching staff.
Recall Mike Findlay was replaced as manager of the team after he made a report about indiscipline players. Otis Gibson dared to criticize the “mighty world boss” Chris Gayle and brought the wrath of the Caribbean upon himself.
Although Brian Lara did many things to disrupt the team and West Indies cricket, the WICB “bent over backwards” to accommodate him and subsequently rewarded him with the captaincy, because he was a “batting genius.” I remember on tours Lara refused to stay in hotels and travel in the tour bus with team mates, preferring to stay in different hotels and arriving late at training sessions, practice matches and venues in taxis with girl friends he brought on tour with him.
During a tour to England when management was looking for Lara, he was in Trinidad partying at a Carnival event. Peter Short went to T&T for Lara and took back to England.
I remember the late “Eight Ball” telling me that Lara is a “genius” and “you can’t tell them anything…… you have to let them do as they like.”
Kevin Peterson was rated as one of the best batsmen in the world… a man who was “bought” for the most money in the IPL at US$1.2M. He was a very indiscipline player and England eventually dumped him.
Andrew Symonds was also a good all rounder who was also dropped from the Australian team due to his “bad behavior.”
This does not happen in the West Indies.
Chad99999 July 2, 2017 at 11:19 PM #
“In other words, what worked for the West Indies 25 years ago isn’t good enough today. We need smarter, better trained players, who have the discipline to execute strategies that are carefully developed from detailed analyses of match data.”
Like it or not, but you only have to watch how WI batsmen approach certain match situations to realize Chad99999’s above comments are true.
Shannon Gabriel’s recent exploits is enough proof.
@the blog master David no doubt it remains relevant….that is exactly my facetious point. You certainly recall Barbados in the person of Garner being endorsed by the JC Assoc before he was unendorsed and lost to Cameron; you surely recall the HofG lambasting WICBC and treating to ‘illegally decharter’ the entity.
That Cameron has been reelected AGAIN makes the old question moot in my view…greaveous masochism frankly.
@Artax, of course i accept your chronology @7:31. All basically factual. But Chad’s point is not principally about indicipline.
I refute the nonsense that WI players are incapable mentally to assimilate the modern traiming or do not have the data analytics because that is fundamentally nonsensical.
Of course Australia or England have better resources and thus more metrics and many more trained folks but it flies in the face of the evidence of life to make his sweeping statements re our tribulations.
I simply cringe when such self serving comments are ventilated like this.
Twenty five years ago our talented and generally DISCIPLINED cricketers were able to best these same Aussies and Poms in the same comparative milieu …who then still had all the better data throves etc.
Today we have devices in our hands more powerful than the computers that sent man to the moon and companies with skills to use those devices to give sports people every tidbit of data to make them better.
So despite this more ubiquitos ability to ‘big’ data Chad perpetuates a folly that WIs are unable to operate today in that milieu….we did in poorakey fasion back then and now that we too can get the tech we are laggards because of that…go figure that noodle wisdom.
He then further posits that basically our athletes have regressed mentally and physically as others have improved. That I refuse to waste time with.
Yes, Brian was a flawed genius and history will show that his genius coincided with a period of tremendous WI dysfunction due to player ill-discipline… however it still impossible to turn logic on its head to reach the specific views espoused by Chad.
We have major problems of course. Many noted above by the author and others for years now. Chad is being simplistic and insulting really.
I don’t understand why Commissiong would chose Cameron’s “social class” as a vehicle to launch an attack on his leadership all DC has to do was catalogue the West Indies team failures under Cameron’s watch and voilà point is made. Commissiong should also remember the term “glass houses” and “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” as he is a child of Bajan privilege, former resident of Highgate Gardens where the only working-class people were taking care of the lawns, and cooking/ caring for the homeowner’s children.
Chad 45 chimes in about “poorly educated” now where have I heard that before? The poorly educated are very important as his favourite politician can attest but I digress; Baseball is called America’s past time and some very important cogs on the teams are players born and raised in the Dominican Republic whose formative years are on hard scrabble fields (much like the Bajan cricketers of yesteryear) and who are drafted into major league teams as early as 15 or 16 without benefit of much formal education at the high school level. These players manage to perform very well under foreign circumstances and although they bring some joie de vivre into the game (much like WI cricket of the past) they realize Baseball is a team sport and understand that there is no “I” in team and they have to sacrifice and work as a unit to achieve success, working together is the antithesis of WI cricket and as I said before “stick a fork in it its done”.
David Commisiong is a real knuckle head. Imagine David Denny or Buddy Larrier going to the iconic Clement Payne Center in Reed Street and curse Commie Commsiong stink.
Mind you Reed Street is where the vast majority of the electorate assemble to plead with Commie Commssiong to become sole ruler of the Kingdom of Barbados.
As Ruler in Waiting of the Kingdom of Barbados what would Commisiong do with a marinated Denny and a head bad Larrier? Send them to Venezuela or the Congo or fire them?
Sammy was an employee disrespecting his employer. The tail cant wag the dog unless you want havoc. Even Commmsiong the Emperor of Bimshire knows that.
@ de pedantic Dribbler
My comments were based specifically on “indiscipline,” but I understand the context of your argument and have to agree with your analysis.
However, indiscipline in WI cricket has manifests itself into many areas of our cricket, which would ultimately affect, according to Chad9999, the players’ ability to “execute strategies that are carefully developed from detailed analyses of match data.”
I can refer you to a Tony Cozier article dated April 15, 2007, where he identified “Indiscipline in all levels of West Indies cricket.” Cozier mentioned the WICB’s “indiscipline” by appointing as two indiscipline players as captain, namely Brian Lara and Carl Hooper, “with more disciplinary charges against them than any other and allowed both to be laws onto themselves.”
I also read an article in the Tuesday, June 19, 2007 online edition of “The Guardian,” under the headline: “West Indies indiscipline let Collinwood out of trouble.” The author made reference to the WI indiscipline that allowed Paul Collingwood to score his 5th test century, thereby allowing England to recover from an embarrassing situation.
In September 2009, then WICB chief Julian Hunte said indiscipline and player accountability were two of the severe challenges facing WI cricket.
WICB has never been in the habit of explaining its decisions relative to team selections, disciplinary issues and the reports from team managers. These issues are always hidden from the public.
Take the Wes Hall Report after the WI team’s tour to England, for example, which made its way into the public domain as a document leaked to the Trinidadian Guardian. Hall reported on specific cases of misconduct by Curtly Ambrose, Kenny Benjamin and Jimmy Adams; friction between Lara and the team captain Richie Richardson; and Lara leaving the team, which was supposed to be with-held from the public.
According to the report, Lara went as far as disclosing, in a team meeting, his dislike for Richardson, who responded by saying if the players were to tell to his face they felt about him similarly to how Lara felt, he would inform the Board of his immediate resignation, because he was not prepared to “bow to any egotistical people who have agendas and ambitions.” As a result, Lara got up and shouted “I resigned,” as he stormed out of the meeting.
And there are many more instances of indiscipline that was accepted among the players by the WICB.
Now CWI, under Cameron, has decided not to tolerate indiscipline or put up with indiscipline players, he is being accused of being “immature, self-centered and self-righteous.”
Who could be more self-righteous than Christopher Gayle? But the WICB should shoulder the blame for creating these monsters.
On Thursday March 4, 2010 the West Indies lost an ODI to Zimbabwe due to some improper shot selections by Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Smith and Denesh Ramdin, that cost them their wickets at very crucial moments in the game. During the post match interview, the captain, Chris Gayle expressed his disappointment with three of his batsmen after the Caribbean side crashed to an embarrassing two-run defeat. The following are quotes from what Gayle had to say about the players in the after match interview.
“In the Australia series, I saw improvements in the likes of Pollard and Smith. To come here … and the way they went about it, I must say I am very disappointed in those two guys and Ramdin,” Gayle said after the match. “Those guys were key for us and the way they went about it was a terrible display. It is very disappointing and sad to see how they went about it.”
“When you do crap, it’s definitely crap and there is no excuse,” said Gayle. “Guys have to take responsibility out there in the middle. It is just sad and disappointing.”
Not one so called journalist, former West Indies player, cricket analyst, supporter, commentator, or coach came out and disagreed with the way Gayle publicly criticised these players. Under the circumstances many people felt that Gayle’s comments were justified.
However, and SIMILARLY, Coach Otis Gibson was equally disappointed by the lack of RESPONSIBILITY and performance by the senior players during the last cricket World Cup. Gibson, like Gayle, (but whose comments were not as harsh as Gayle’s) publicly expressed this disappointment. But because Gayle was involved, the coach’s comments evoked the wrath of the press, former players (especially the Jamaicans), commentators, analysts, supporters, “arm-chair critics” and politicians, who were often reminding us that Gibson has no right to criticise anyone, since he only played two matches for the West Indies.
Subsequently, during a radio interview Gayle made some very disparaging remarks about Coach Gibson, the Captain, and certain members of the team, selectors and the WICB. The technicality being used by the Gayle fans to support his tirade is that he is not a contracted player of the WICB; there wasn’t any “journalist” brave enough or prepared to say Gayle was wrong.
I my opinion, many of these so called people that parade as sports journalist are merely sports writers who, in an effort to gain invitation to the players’ parties to eat and drink, appease the players.
Have you ever been around any of these patronage networks.
Democracy on the WICB is rigged by favours granted or to be granted.
Neither Barbados nor those said to be ‘representing’ have an interests in issues like this
After all, it seems, even in the pending death of west indies cricket, Bajans dominate all the teams, committees, with our mediocrity.
Correct, there is a lot of horse trading when it comes to the Board. It explains how the incumbent Vice President from Dominica read how Cameron is able to sustain his perch at the helm despite…
Sammy is being advertised to be on the sports show on VoB tomorrow evening AND Winston Benjamin is calling for the firing of Head Selector Browne. Here we go again.