Cameron: CWI needs big bucks
prompted me to tell this story. I am not a powerhungry indefinitely.
“I have no desire to be called an executive president but the nature of the powers of the president are not ceremonial. It is one that demands accountability and action. The president, based on the constitution, is the responsible individual for the organisation and such were the findings of a corporate governance review.
“The findings have been distorted by those who wish to misinterpret and cause divisions. I prefer to be remembered simply as your humble servant who has served in the best interests of West Indies’ cricket.”
Cameron said while rankings were important, the West Indies could claim to be the best team in the world on form if they beat Virat Kohli’s much vaunted India side later this year.
“England beat India in England 4-1, West Indies just beat England 2-1, so if we beat India in the summer, who are the world champions? That’s the way heavyweight fights go. We can talk about rankings all we want, but on form who would be the best team in
by Mike King
It is costing Cricket West Indies (CWI) approximately US$40 million to run cricket annually, and that is why it is important CWI makes huge profits from home tours by England and India.
However, the economic model has to change in terms of media rights if CWI is to become one of the major financial players. CWI president Wycliffe “Dave” Cameron alluded to that when he delivered the feature address at a dinner and Open Forum hosted by the Rotary Club on Thursday night at Hilton Barbados.
“It is a big business. The unfortunate thing is that we only make money from TV when we have India or England and so our inbound tours are very important to us. We are now fighting the ICC [International Cricket Council] about changing the model of cricket, the economics of world cricket, so that we can actually benefit a lot more from it.
“We are a small entity, where we only benefit from our own media rights, and that is a massive disadvantage. India’s five year TV rights were sold for one and a half billion dollars, England’s were sold for 1.2 billion pounds and Australia’s for 1.2 billion Aussie dollars. If West Indies get 60 million dollars for our five years rights, we would have done very well.
“When we compete with those countries, it takes innovation and strategy to be able to keep pace with countries with those vast amounts of resources,” he said.
Speaking before an audience that included Cabinet Minister Wilfred Abrahams and Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes, Cameron noted that CWI had existed without an overdraft for the last three years but was relieved that local institutions such as RBC and Sagicor had come on board.
The 47-year-old Cameron added that CWI were in the final phases of raising a US$34 million bond out of Jamaica to fund CWI over the next few years.
Cameron also said that CWI had made a major saving in legal costs, thanks to the improved relations with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA). It has been reduced from US$1.6 million in legal fees annually prior to 2013, to less than US$300 000.
“When we took office in 2013, we met with WIPA and Wavell Hinds at the time, and I felt we were wasting money, we are paying lawyers. Why not give you a percentage as WIPA to manage and be accountable to deliver certain things to us and we will pay our players 25 per cent of our annual average revenues and that has redounded to the success and our ability to plan and manage our ability in the last couple of years,” he said.
Cameron, who has been president of CWI since March 2013, defended his leadership style, and insisted he was not power-hungry.
“In the face of mounting criticism about my leadership style, I am compelled to respond. You may or may not be aware, but I have been challenged in my fourth attempt as president and this has despot seeking to hold on to the reins of power the world,” he said. Cameron said much had been done to improve fitness standards across the Caribbean. “While, it has taken me four years to get minimum standards agreed and accepted across the board, this is something we continue to fight for, but I must commend Conde Riley of the BCA (Barbados Cricket Association], as the Barbados teams are the most fit players in the West Indies set-up.”
Barbados Cricket Association president Conde Riley (centre) in discussion with former Government minister John Williams and Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes.
Cameron confirmed that former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur will be chairman of the Windies Foundation, which will target grassroots cricket.
Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron delivering his address during the Open Forum hosted by the Rotary Club.
(Pictures by Kenmore Bynoe.)