On March 27th, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the governing body for the sport of cricket in the region, elected Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron to be its new president. Cameron, who was previously the WICB vice-president, defeated the incumbent Julian R. Hunte 7-5 in a vote of board members. Emmanuel Nanton, who was Cameron's running mate, defeated former West Indies cricketer Joel “Big Bird” Garner 8-4 in an election for vice-president.
Any discussion of cricket in the Caribbean is passionate and this was no exception. Much of the discussion centered around the legacy of the Hunte presidency and the implications of his replacement by Cameron.
At the West Indies cricket fan Facebook group WICFA, Colville Mounsey was disappointed by what he perceived as the lack of support for Hunte from the Winwards territory he had served for many years. He felt this would negatively impact the Winwards:
For the first time there was equity in regional cricket, no one could point a finger and say they were being marginalized compared to the previous status quo of Windwards cricket being ‘butt’ of all jokes in the region.
Mounsey added that he doesn't think the election of Nanton is a substitute for Hunte's removal:
Why would [you] trade someone who was once a marginalized subset, trade someone who ensured equity for someone who only promises it[?]
Ezra Hinds felt the situation was indicative of the reluctance of Caribbean leaders to give up power:
That's why I have to laugh when I hear nearly every Caribbean opposition leader speaking about Prime Ministerial term limits. The only way one of them will do that is if they realise they have a terminal sickness or something extreme when they take the govt. Persons know the BENEFITS of having certain positions and will do all to keep them.
Kezron Walters felt that the fans should hold whoever is the WICB president accountable for the state of West Indies cricket:
Whatever happens, we should continue to be the t[h]orn in the WICB's side. Let's continue to agitate for fairness, equality and RESULTS! Congrats Dave Cameron. But it's not gonna be smooth. Much to be done to get West Indies cricket back to the top.
Kevin S. Moore said that cricket fans should be wary of insularity and suggested that Hunte had been in office long enough to fulfill his agenda:
We have been asking for the death of insularity in WI cricket since the first day of WICFA. Can you view it as your people paving the way for the future of WI cricket, showing that they can support a candidate without considering his nationality? Also I honestly believe that Hunte had no more to offer, his last term was more settled than the first two, but there is very little someone can achieve in a fourth term that they didn't in the previous three stints.
According to Anthony December, Cameron's election as president should lead to more cricket being played in Jamaica:
With the Jamaican now at the helm of the WICB…that is good news for Jamaicans and SABINA PARK! which has seen [next] to NO cricket at all…
However, Sigebert Degazon argued that the president does not have the sole authority to assign games to any territory:
You all must understand the president CANNOT give any island Cricket. The president has only one vote, like everybody else, only in case of a tie he has another vote. As a matter of fact the president was the VP. He has not become president to look after the interest of Jamaica, but the interest of WI Cricket.
There was also a heated discussion on the Facebook page St. Lucians Aiming For Progress (both Hunte and current West Indies Captain Darren Sammy are from the island.)
Dalkeith Charlesmagne felt that Hunte had done a good job and that it was time to support the new administration:
Hon. Dr Julian Hunte has done a tremendous job in putting back a little swagger in the West Indies Team under the captaincy of Mr Sammy. As anything else, one can only do that much, so the Ex President should bow out gracefully and retire to the lovely beaches and sunsets of St Lucia. It is my belief that Mr Sammy still has a lot to offer as the leader of a team, he has played a pivotal part in [molding], uniting and committing the players to a new direction that has seen the WI team succeed and become victorious in one format of the game, and showing some improvement of late in the other formats. We are all West Indians and obviously want to see our team be a successful unit like the ones of old, so let's all rally around the team, its management, the coaches and most of all its new President. God bless.
According to Terry Finisterre, Hunte's removal from the presidency shouldn't have any negative impact on Saint Lucian cricket or the fate of West Indies Captain Darren Sammy:
Saint Lucia has a CPL T20 franchise, that's not going anywhere, Darren Sammy is a franchise player, that won't change. West Indies captaincy will be there or it won't. Really matters not at this stage of Mr Sammy's career. He's achieved more as captain than his dozen or so predecessors, after all.
Saint Lucia as a venue has been under-marketed mainly thanks to our own lack of effort in capitalizing on having one of the Caribbean's newest and (by universal acclaim) best venues.
Tennyson Scott felt that Hunte's impact on the WICB was positive and that it was time to look to the future:
Mr Hunte is a very calculated individual. His decision to reverse his earlier decision not to run would have been based on some discussions with the territorial boards. Obviously there was a change in the views of some of the voter or some may have voted against their board mandates. I am indeed thankful and proud of the contribution of my fellow St. Lucians involved in decision making in the West Indies Cricket. Mr Hunte can leave with his head high and say I won a world championship, made [it] to a final of [a] Women[‘s] World Cup final. He can say we moved from losing woefully to wining some and being very competitive in some losses to top ranked team[s]. He can say that we have broken the strangle hold that WIP had on West Indies Cricket…Mr Hunte felt that there were some things that we not completed and believed that they would not be undertaken…by another president. What ever we think we must respect his decision to run again as this is his right. It is all left to be seen what the future holds under Cameron.