Garner making a run for top post
Joel “Big Bird” Garner is looking to ascend into the post of president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
According to reports, Garner, the president of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) is set to challenge Jamaican Dave Cameron at next month’s election of officers to be held in Jamaica.
And amid rumours that the Jamaican Cricket Association (JCA) has thrown its support behind the former West Indies fast bowler, a senior Barbados cricket official believes the BCA will also throw its support behind Garner.
While efforts to reach Garner today to confirm whether he was running for the post were unsuccessful, the senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Barbados TODAY that he expected the majority of BCA members to back Garner in his bid to become the fifth Barbadian to become president of the WICB.
Captain Peter Short, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Wes Hall and most recently, Edward “Teddy” Griffith all served in the post.
“From all accounts, I see no reason why the BCA would not support Garner in this latest endeavour,” he confidently stated.
“In most cases the respective territory usually backs their president and I would expect the same to happen here in Barbados.”
Reports coming out of Jamaica are that the JCA, led by president William “Billy” Heaven, voted ten to six in favour of Garner, who will have as his vice-presidential candidate, Baldath Mahibir, the current chairman of the marketing committee of the WICB.
Honorary secretary of the Jamaica Cricket Association Fritz Harris is reported as saying “the members participated in a session with Mr Cameron. They listened to him and asked questions, and after that there was a discussion, and then there was a vote and the members voted to support Mr Garner 10-6. So that is the position of the Jamaica Cricket Board which has decided to support Joel Garner in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board election.”
However, the senior official warned that this was a volatile time at which to become president of the WICB, especially considering the implications of last November’s ill-fated tour of India, which has left the regional body facing a $82 million backlash from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Cameron has come under heavy fire for his handling of the aborted tour, with Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonzalves, publicly blaming him for the circumstances surrounding the aborted tour and also leading calls for him to step down.
“Anyone who is elected president of the WICB will be under a lot of pressure. That is a fact.
“It won’t be an easy job by any means necessary. There are a lot of issues facing West Indies cricket at the moment and there are no quick fixes. It will definitely be challenging,” he explained.
He insisted though, that ousting the 42 year-old Cameron –– who defeated Julian Hunte by a 7-5 margin in 2013 –– would not be an easy task.
“Cameron brought a business model to West Indian cricket that was unprecedented.
“A lot of people blame him for what happened in India, but to be honest, I don’t think it was his fault and he should not bear the brunt of blame for what happened,” the senior official contended.
In a related report out of Trinidad, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath, has stated he has no intention of competing for the position of president of the WICB when the Annual General Meeting is held
on March 7.
Bassarath’s declaration was prompted by a statement from former West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine, who tweeted that the TTCB chief would be challenging Cameron for the post.
”That is utter rubbish,” declared Bassarath.
”I don’t know where this man gets his information, but again he is wrong. I am not contesting the presidency of the WICB.”