Cameron under fire for Gayle retweet
West Indies cricket chief Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron was blasted for apparently retweeting a demand for outspoken opener Chris Gayle to be given “a retirement package”.
In the latest controversy to hit the World Cup team, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Cameron’s behaviour was condemned as “unacceptable” by players’ representatives.
The drama unfolded during the Windies’ match against Pakistan at Christchurch yesterday when Gayle was out for four, stretching his run without a century in ODI cricket to 20 matches.
One fan tweeted: “Gayle goes… Can’t buy a run. Let’s give him a retirement package … Can’t fail repeatedly and still front up based on reputation.”
Cameron then apparently retweeted the post even as the match was ongoing.
The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), often at loggerheads with the WICB in a long-standing battle over contracts and payments, immediately denounced Cameron.
“WIPA is extremely disturbed by the unacceptable re-tweeting by Mr Dave Cameron, President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), of a negative “fan” tweet which was directed at our member Mr Christopher Gayle,” said a statement.
“That Mr Cameron’s retweet came in the middle of the West Indies team’s critical game against Pakistan renders it even more unacceptable.”
WIPA chief executive Wavell Hinds added: “We denounce any such behaviour by any official of the WICB in any given circumstance.”
Hinds has in recent times enjoyed a close relationship with Cameron. Both are members of the Kensington Cricket Club, east of the Jamaica capital, Kingston.
Other cricket enthusiasts blasted Cameron for the retweet, one of them calling his action ‘infantile’.
Cameron, who is seeking re-election, apologised for his actions and removed the post from his account.
“No offense intended. Full apologies extended. Rally round the West Indies,” he wrote on davec51.
On the eve of the World Cup, Gayle had accused the WICB of victimisation after Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were axed from the squad for their roles in the abandoned tour of India last year.
Gayle has since been summoned to appear before a disciplinary board to explain his comments. He received a letter on Tuesday, February 18, signed by Richard Pybus, the West Indies Board’s director of cricket, citing irregular conduct on his part.
Despite the controversy, the West Indies went on to defeat Pakistan by 150 runs at Hagley Oval in their second World Cup match on Friday, following their shock opening loss to minnows Ireland a week earlier.
The annual general meeting of the West Indies Cricket Board will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Saturday, March 7.
Cameron, who is under fire for his handling of the aborted tour by the West Indies of India late last year, is being challenged for the post of president by legendary Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Joel “Big Bird” Garner.
The post of vice president will also be decided. (AFP/Jamaica Observer)