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Former WICB chief executive passes


TONY COZIER

Former WICB chief executive passes

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STEPHEN CAMACHO, the longest serving secretary/chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the last Test player in the position, died at his home in Antigua yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He would have been 70 on October 15.

Appointed the board’s first executive secretary in 1982 he was transferred to the new designation as chief executive officer until his retirement in 2000. In the 18 years, he was manager and assistant manager and selector of West Indies teams  and on the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executives committees.

In that time, under the successive presidencies of Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Allan Rae, Sir Clyde Walcott and Peter Short, who predeceased him by two months, West Indies cricket dominated international cricket.

I got to develop a firm friendship with him and his wife, Alison, in Barbados when he conducted the board’s business virtually on his own out of a small office at Kensington Oval. It continued until the end.

I could understand his anguish at the controversies that have consumed West Indies cricket since and led to its continuing deterioration. In recent years, he could hardly bring himself to attend Tests in Antigua where the board’s headquarters were located on their move from Barbados.

Not that it completely dulled his love of life. He was partial to a drink or two but never to overindulgence. He spoke passionately and humorously, and with precise attention to delivery, about his days in the game and the vast number of friends he had made through it.

As a patient, technically correct opener who batted in spectacles, Camacho played 11 Tests for the West Indies and 35 matches for Guyana between 1965 and 1979. His modest averages of 29.09 in Tests and 34.86 in all first-class matches did no justice to his talent.

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