CWI ELECTIONS: Chanderpaul endorses Cameron/Nanthan
By Avenash Ramzan
The region’s most capped Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has thrown his support behind the incumbent Dave Cameron ahead of Sunday’s vote in Jamaica.
The 44-year-old former West Indies captain, who appeared in 164 Tests and 268 ODIs in a career spanning 21 years, pledged allegiance to Cameron and Vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan, who are up against challengers Ricky Skerritt and Dr. Kishore Shallow.
Chanderpaul made the revelation at a Guyana Cricket Board appreciation ceremony for recently crowned five-time Regional Four-day champions Guyana Jaguars at the Grand Coastal Hotel on Wednesday evening.
“As a player for two decades and now a coach with the most successful franchise in the West Indies region, I have come to appreciate the tremendous work that administrators have to do behind the scene. I observe the recent development regarding the upcoming elections at Cricket West Indies, and would like to endorse the Cameron/Nanthan ticket.”
He added, “My reason is simple. Over the past five years with the introduction of the franchise system, cricket in the Caribbean has seen quite an improvement. Mr. Cameron, despite many challenges, has been able to stabilise West Indies cricket and he deserves a chance to continue to contribute to our growth and development in the region.”
Cricket West Indies Director and Guyana Cricket Board Secretary, Anand Sanasie, who chaired the evening’s proceedings told the gathering: “I would usually have conversations with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who, now that he’s come in and he’s seeing it from the other side, not as a player, but as a coach and he has to be involved in administration and so on, he’s now starting to think differently I know. So tonight he told me he had something to say that is very short.”
Chanderpaul’s endorsement of Team Cameron/Nanthan came on the same day another former West Indies captain Daren Sammy called for their removal. Sammy argued that change is badly needed, and those with the power to vote should “do the right thing.”
Skerritt and Dr. Shallow are campaigning on a “10-point ‘Cricket First’ plan, built on inclusiveness, integrity, and development. Ending the move towards exclusive executive control by the incumbents. And term limit proposal for the CWI Presidency.”
Chanderpaul is the second former player behind Barbados fast bowler Tino Best to embrace the incumbent. Skerritt and Dr. Shallow meanwhile, have publicly been endorsed by former greats Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts and Clive Lloyd.
Chanderpaul, making specific reference to the regional franchise system introduced by Cameron, added: “I remember as a kid coming up, playing for Guyana, we never had too much in place. We never had contract, we never had anything; I had to find my own money from the country to get down to Georgetown, sometimes I had to stay with people in Georgetown because I couldn’t get transportation to get back home. But what the guys have now they have to be thankful, they have to be happy (and) cherish what you got.”
Chanderpaul’s position may come as a surprise to many, as it was under Cameron’s reign his Test career ended abruptly in 2015, four years after he was dropped from the ODI side after returning from the World Cup.
He, like many legends before him, was never accorded a proper send-off by the Board.
Two months after being elected for a second term in March 2015, Cameron told CMC: “I have never really liked how we have ushered out our players, so as president I am always trying to figure out how to honour them.”
“We’re doing it now on a continuous basis, year by year, for their performances, but at the end of a long and illustrious career like Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s we want to ensure that whatever we do, it is well respected and that he knows and the region knows how much we value his services to West Indies cricket.”
While he continued to play First-Class cricket post-2015, Chanderpaul officially retired from international cricket in 2016. He was recently appointed by the Guyana Cricket Board to the post of Assistant Coach of the Guyana Jaguars.
The Guyana Cricket Board has made public its intention to support Cameron and Nanthan at the polls.