Cameron's Chaos? - the never-ending strife of Cricket West Indies

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Richard Pybus, a coach who has been hovering around the West Indies set-up in some form or another for since 2013, was recently appointed as the head coach of the West Indies. This came not long after he had been appointed to the new role of high performance director for the team, a newly created role which had not been advertised and had little consultancy take place before he was chosen to fill it. Pybus has earned the ire of many senior West Indies cricketers by making it mandatory for them to play in the West Indies domestic competition in order to be considered for international duties.

With Stuart Law choosing to end his coaching role early to go to Middlesex, Nic Pothas took over as interim coach, and there was an expectation that he would be named as the head coach permanently within the near future. Instead, there was an announcement the other day that Pybus would be taking on the role instead until midway through this year. But now the Leeward Islands Cricket Board is demanding his appointment be rescinded with president Dave Cameron explaining the process undertaken for Pybus' appointment. Why? Because with both the head coach and high performance role, Cameron is accused of having hand-picked Pybus without consultation.

Pybus' entry into West Indies cricket coincides with Cameron's ascension to the presidency of the Board, a period that has been characterised by never-ending chaos with occasional puncturings of hope. It can be safely assumed that Cameron and Pybus have similar views on the professionalisation of cricket in the West Indies, which are best explained by the interview Cameron did with Cricinfo in 2016 (part 1, part 2), in which he also shows off the achievements of the team (World T20, Women's World Cup, U-19 World Cup), the introduction of the CPL and the professional wages now paid to first class players as results of his tenure.

However, simultaneous to that have been a series of related crises boiling down to player relations, with both past and present cricketers. In fact, Cameron has a habit of taking criticism badly and personally, as best exemplified in the banning of Michael Holding, Tony Cozier and Fazeer Mohammed from commentating on the team (which then-coach Phil Simmons also had a hand in, again showing that a preference for like-mindedness). This is not to say that he and his supporters are entirely at fault for the T20 jetsetters that make up most of the veterans of West Indies cricket - they themselves have often been equally unwilling to compromise or let go of grievances. But unlike Cameron, they don't have a long-term position stitched up.

His personal conduct and that of his board led CARICOM, the political body that oversees multilateral cooperation between the Caribbean nations, came together to formulate a re-structuring of the board and recommded that the board be dissolved way back in 2015. It still hasn't happened, and CARICOM is still trying to figure out how to actually do what it wants to do while CWI (the new name of the West Indies Cricket Board as a commercial entity, or "Windies" for short [not as a nickname, that's the actual name that Cameron has been insisting the team be called in all international cricket - not West Indies, just Windies]) refuses to cooperate.

Political wrangling is nothing new in the West Indies, which is part of the reason I have previously argued that they would be better off splitting up (part 1, part 2). But CWI under Cameron has managed to get all the governments of the Caribbean aligned against it, while all the boards have generally either supported him or stayed silent. An example of what these boards can be is that of Trinidad and Tobago, whose board is having their own election soon (after it was meant to take place in 2016). The incumbent president, Azim Bassarath, starts with 12 votes belonging to the outgoing board members. He will need another 13 votes to secure his position, whereas his opponent is starting with 0 votes and needs 25. His opponent is former Test player Dinanath Ramnarine, who led a court injunction against the board election precisely because of this voting system, supported by other notable players in Darren Ganga and Samuel Badree. The Court threw out the injunction.

All this has been happening while the West Indies' results in the international arena have continued to plummet. With many of their best players drifting in and out of the team (including a Sunil Narine that many suspect will not play internationally again in case he gets called for throwing for a third time), the team had to go to the World Cup Qualifiers in 2018, a tournament they only won came second in due to the captain Jason Holder, who held off the UAE and PNG in the group stages and Zimbabwe in the Super Sixes (which they wouldn't have even made without those two earlier wins). Making it into the World Cup was pretty much the highlight of the year, aside from a 2-0 Test series victory at home over Bangladesh, which was reversed later in the year when they toured Bangladesh instead. While the CPL's making money Cameron will probably keep ruling the roost, but given his justifications revolve around improving the international results of the team, they will need to start winning at some point to justify him.
 
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PhatBoy

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I can’t post about it too much because it just f***ing enrages me, but Cameron is a f***ing cancer on this organisation and the quicker he f***s off the better it will be for all concerned.

I could almost guarantee if he was voted out, there would be a tidal wave of previously reluctant players suddenly doing things to get into the international set up.

Poor Holder has to cop the brunt of it from the fans because he’s the face of the whole thing, when in reality he’s just a guy who is desperate to represent the region and try to carry the team on his shoulders.

This a ship that has all the working parts of a functional vessel - world class bowlers, an improving keeper batsman, arguably the best all rounder in test cricket at the moment, one of the few remaining genuine new ball blunters, a quality 6 who bowls adequate spin in Chase, and in players like Hope and Heymeyer, two guys who play shots with a purity that many players can only dream of.
And that ship is absolutely rudderless because of how f***ing shithouse the boss is.

F*** off Cameron you c***
 
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I can’t post about it too much because it just f***ing enrages me, but Cameron is a f***ing cancer on this organisation and the quicker he f***s off the better it will be for all concerned.

I could almost guarantee if he was voted out, there would be a tidal wave of previously reluctant players suddenly doing things to get into the international set up.

Poor Holder has to cop the brunt of it from the fans because he’s the face of the whole thing, when in reality he’s just a guy who is desperate to represent the region and try to carry the team on his shoulders.

This a ship that has all the working parts of a functional vessel - world class bowlers, an improving keeper batsman, arguably the best all rounder in test cricket at the moment, one of the few remaining genuine new ball blunters, a quality 6 who bowls adequate spin in Chase, and in players like Hope and Heymeyer, two guys who play shots with a purity that many players can only dream of.
And that ship is absolutely rudderless because of how f***ing shithouse the boss is.

F*** off Cameron you c***
In the interests of balance, was the CPL+the introduction of FC contracts likely to happen anyway regardless of him becoming president or not?
 

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In the interests of balance, was the CPL+the introduction of FC contracts likely to happen anyway regardless of him becoming president or not?
CPL certainly. West Indies got a big taste for ‘party cricket’ via Stanford, and the simple fact that they happen to actually be very good at T20 cricket I think made it a certainty that it would happen sooner or later. Credit to the board though, they’ve made it into a huge success. That can’t be denied.
But on the flip side they’ve undone a lot of the work by not using the financial windfall particularly well.
I’m less sure about the contracting side of things so don’t want to speculate too much.
 
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Great OP by the way. Unfortunately I don’t know much about this, but based off what I’ve read there seems to be a dislocation of interests between key stakeholders, and with the primary focus of putting forward a competitive cricket team with a good culture, I think some individuals probably need to part ways with politics and just focus on the basics of returning the Windies to a strong unit.
 

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Great OP by the way. Unfortunately I don’t know much about this, but based off what I’ve read there seems to be a dislocation of interests between key stakeholders, and with the primary focus of putting forward a competitive cricket team with a good culture, I think some individuals probably need to part ways with politics and just focus on the basics of returning the Windies to a strong unit.
The likes of Cameron are far more focused on control, winning some sort of non-existent battle with players and getting them to cede control completely to him and his board, and having everything done and decided exclusively on their terms.

I’m friends with Darren Sammy on Facey (never met the bloke, just stalked him a lot haha) and his contempt for the bloke is enourmous. A major sticking point is the fact that Cameron seems to simply have no clue about the game.
 

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Unrelated to this discussion but noticed last night that Tagenarine Chanderpaul made 70-odd not out from about 280 balls for Guyana in their domestic match. He put on 209 with Anthony Bramble for the fourth wicket.... who smashed 168 of them off about 150 balls.
 
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Unrelated to this discussion but noticed last night that Tagenarine Chanderpaul made 70-odd not out from about 280 balls for Guyana in their domestic match. He put on 209 with Anthony Bramble for the fourth wicket.... who smashed 168 of them off about 150 balls.
I was originally going to make this a general West Indies thread, but then I figured with the amount of governance crises going on it would be better to focus on that, but with room for stuff like that in the background.

Perhaps he will learn how to score faster down the track, but a strike-rate consistently in the 20s is a little worrying. Also worth mentioning that Shane Shillingford is not playing for the Windwards in that same match, because he has once again been suspended for throwing. I know it's also suspected among some fans that Sunil Narine is unlikely to play for the West Indies again out of fear of likewise being caught once more.
 

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I was originally going to make this a general West Indies thread, but then I figured with the amount of governance crises going on it would be better to focus on that, but with room for stuff like that in the background.

Perhaps he will learn how to score faster down the track, but a strike-rate consistently in the 20s is a little worrying. Also worth mentioning that Shane Shillingford is not playing for the Windwards in that same match, because he has once again been suspended for throwing. I know it's also suspected among some fans that Sunil Narine is unlikely to play for the West Indies again out of fear of likewise being caught once more.
Shillingford is definitely a little on the wrong side of suspect, I feel sorry for Narine though as his action though different, isn’t illegal as far as I’m concerned.

Correct about Chanderpaul, he’s too slow at the moment and it’s costing him a better record. He’s averaging 30 in his brief first class career so far (30 games) but he’s spending long enough at the crease each innings to comfortably average 40 if he can find some more scoring areas.

At the moment most Windies batsmen can play all the shots but can’t stay at the crease long enough to unfurl them. I would rather someone like Chanderpaul - in terms of project players at least - who has the temperament to spend a lot of time out there, and build some shots into his game.
 

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That Darren Bravo hasn't played for the West Indies in so long now is directly the fault of Cameron. Their best batsman. Just another black mark against his name.
 

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I'm now searching for the last year a fast bowler topped the wicket tally in the regional four-day comp. The fact that Guyana have won the last four championships suggests it'll be a while.
 
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Last year there were four in the top ten, highest ranked third.

From then on:

2016/17: three, sixth
15/16: one, ninth
14/15: three, sixth
13/14: two, first
12/13: two, fourth
11/12: three, eighth
10/11: two, eighth
09/10: one, eighth
08/09: one, fourth
 
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I'm now searching for the last year a fast bowler topped the wicket tally in the regional four-day comp. The fact that Guyana have won the last four championships suggests it'll be a while.
Last year there were four in the top ten, highest ranked third.

From then on:

2016/17: three, sixth
15/16: one, ninth
14/15: three, sixth
13/14: two, first
12/13: two, fourth
11/12: three, eighth
10/11: two, eighth
09/10: one, eighth
08/09: one, fourth
Despite that though there is some high quality talent in the quicks coming through (Joseph, Thomas & Rutherford) as well as Roach, Gabriel & Holder all performing extremely well in test cricket.
 
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So what if the windies administration wants their players to put aside some of their greed and laziness and actually play first class matches in their own country before they are eligible to play internationally??? That should be the bare minimum for international eligibility!! Imagine Glenn Maxwell sulking to the press that he can't play a test match for Australia when he hasn't played first class cricket in years and just jets around the world playing T/20 cricket for big bucks. That's exactly what their players do. They don't even want to play test cricket these days. They are lazy and greedy and only worried about quick cash. Then when they get called out on why they haven't played long form cricket in ages they moan about the restrictions placed on them at home. Useless good for nothing work dodgers
 

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So what if the windies administration wants their players to put aside some of their greed and laziness and actually play first class matches in their own country before they are eligible to play internationally??? That should be the bare minimum for international eligibility!! Imagine Glenn Maxwell sulking to the press that he can't play a test match for Australia when he hasn't played first class cricket in years and just jets around the world playing T/20 cricket for big bucks. That's exactly what their players do. They don't even want to play test cricket these days. They are lazy and greedy and only worried about quick cash. Then when they get called out on why they haven't played long form cricket in ages they moan about the restrictions placed on them at home. Useless good for nothing work dodgers
They want both, ideally. The likes of Pollard and Russell, no question - but a lot of the others, knowing that they can’t get a decent contract out of their retainer (and after Bravo, their best batsman, was dropped to a tier 3 contract due to ‘falling performance levels I can’t really blame him) they know that a lot of big competitions clash with their domestic season. It’s a hard spot to be in.
 
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