CWI blanks Cameron for ICC chairmanship

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by Vinode Mamchan – Senior Reporter

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has not nominated anyone for the upcoming elections of the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairmanship.

The ICC after months of being undecided about how to go about installing a new chairman finally settled on a path to achieve it. They outlined that the first step was one whereby current ICC Board members had given its membership until Sunday (October 18) to nominate candidates for the position of chairman. After this, the potential candidate must be seconded by another board member before the elections are held.

The ICC has outlined that the nominees must be either a former or current ICC board member.

The USA Cricket Hall of Fame had written to CWI asking that they nominate the former president of regional body Jamaican Dave Cameron, 49, as chairman.

However, when Guardian Media Sports contacted CWI vice-president Dr Kishore Shallow, he said this was not done.

According to Shallow: “It did come up for discussion and we did not nominate anybody for the post.”

When contacted yesterday, Cameron said that he was not nominated by anyone.

“I reached out to certain people but did not hear anything from them, so I guess that it is safe to state that I was not nominated by anyone for the post seeing that the process that now closed.”

Cameron, who lost the presidency of what was then called the West Indies Cricket Board to Ricky Skerritt in the March 2019 elections – in which he was seeking a fourth consecutive term said that although he is disappointed, he feels it more for the regional cricket body.

“CWI needs someone to seek their interest and also that of the smaller cricket boards across the world. If not they will just have to be mere bystanders and take what they get. The reason I got World Cups to come our way in the Caribbean was that I went in there and fought and demanded and that is why we got the Women’s World Cup a couple of years ago and we are getting the Youth World Cup in 2022.”

Imran Khwaja will be the interim chairman of ICC until elections are held for the post. The decision was taken by the ICC Board on Wednesday after incumbent Shashank Manohar stepped down following two terms in the role.

Khwaja, who is a former president of the Singapore Cricket Association, was elected as ICC’s deputy chairman in 2017, a year after Manohar became the global cricket body’s inaugural independent chairman. The deputy chairman’s position was part of the new ICC constitution which came into effect from 2017. That constitution was drafted by a five-person working group which included Khwaja.

A lawyer by profession, Khwaja, 64, has been an ever-present but little-heard figure – publicly at least. He remains, however, a powerful voice on the ICC Board and is part of several influential committees. Currently, the committees Khwaja sits on include the Finance & Commercial Affairs, Nominations, Development (chair) and Membership.

It was Khwaja who played a significant role in convincing Manohar to continue as ICC chairman in 2017 after the former BCCI president had opted to step down even before finishing a year in the post. Although he is the chairman of Associates, Khwaja has had a say in significant reforms the ICC carried out under Manohar’s leadership, including the overhaul of the governance structure, the finance model and creating a democratic structure at the ICC board where even the smaller countries have had a say.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket’s Gregor Barclay and Khwaja of Singapore are the only two prominent names who will be fighting for the ICC chairman’s post to replace Manohar after filing nominations and a one-month window has been kept by the ICC Board to see if it can have a unanimous candidate.

“As of now, it looks like there will be an election between Barclay and Khwaja, who is ICC’s acting chairman. They are the only two who have filed nominations. Both have their share of support from the board,” a senior official, privy to developments in ICC Board, told the Press Trust of India (PTI), yesterday.

In a 17-member ICC board, 16 can cast their vote (17th member is CEO Manu Sawhney without voting rights) and as per the existing rules, either Barclay or Khwaja would need 11 votes (2/3rd of the board) to become the next chairman.

In case Cricket South Africa (CSA) gets suspended by the ICC over government interference, then the number of voters will come down to 15.

However, in case Barclay fails to get 11 votes, Khwaja will continue as the acting chairman of the ICC. A lot of major Test-playing nations are expected to rally behind Barclay.

Meanwhile, Colin Graves, the former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman was the favourite to become the next ICC chief, however, he didn’t file his nomination after he learnt that he was not a unanimous choice and he also did not command the numbers of required votes to win to get elected.

There is a buzz that the BCCI will lend support to Barclay against Khwaja, who is known to be close to a former ICC head, who will actively take interest in the election if it happens.

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