no second nomination: Clive Lloyd

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Saying nothing new

By Garth Wattley

I don't know what I'm going to type here.

There are times when it seems that all there is to say has been said, time and time again. About everything.

For example what is there new and fresh for a body to say about the West Indies Cricket Board?

Next month, another Annual General Meeting of the WICB will come along. In all likelihood, Julian Hunte will be elected president for a fourth consecutive term.

Sometimes, no news is good news. But is keeping the status quo what West Indies cricket needs at this time? I suspect that in the court of public opinion, the jury would rule that this is a time to shake things up.

But clearly the territorial boards don't think so.

There was no joint written statement declaring their hand, but the failure of Clive Lloyd to gain a required second nomination so that he could be a candidate for the presidency said a lot in itself.

Only the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)--quite strangely in the current circumstances of cricket in that country--appeared keen to see Lloyd at the helm of the regional game.

Lloyd, remember, is the head of the Guyana Government-appointed Interim Management Committee that is now rivaling the West Indies Cricket Board-backed GCB for control of the game there. So it was kind of startling to say the least, that they would propose him for WICB president. There must be more to that move than meets the eyes. I am reliably informed that that is indeed the case with the Guyana cricket situation as a whole. There are no clear villains in that piece. But that is an aside, kind of.

Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board decided to go the way of Pontius Pilate and wash their hands of the matter entirely by not endorsing any candidate. But by refusing to second his nomination, which, as it turned out effectively denied the former West Indies captain the opportunity to run for president, the TTCB was in effect saying it did not want Lloyd to have a chance at running the Board's affairs. Why not?

It is by no means a given that because Lloyd was the man under whose leadership the Windies enjoyed their greatest era of success, that he could transform the WICB for the better. But as a man who by his former players' own declaration over the years, excelled as a manager of men, Lloyd could surely by force of personality have an influence on the often difficult relationship between the Board and the West Indies Players Association. As the former head of the ICC's Cricket Committee, he ought to be able to keep the focus on the development of the cricket itself, not just on marketing and sponsorship.

I stress again, that Clive Lloyd's illustrious record as player, captain and ICC administrator, does not mean that he can achieve what former WICB presidents could not.

Remember that another Windies icon, Wes Hall was also once a WICB boss, and under him, there was a strike by players in the regional first-class competition.

Lloyd himself was manager of the Windies in 1998 on that infamous first tour of South Africa when the senior players also went on strike at a hotel in London on the way to southern Africa.

Force of his personality and record in the game could not convince Lloyd's charges led by Brian Lara that it was not the right time to squabble with their Board with such an historic tour on the horizon. In his time as manager besides that series, Lloyd by himself could not prevent the decline in discipline that marked that especially difficult period in the mid-1990s to early 2000s.

But having tried so many others from various fields of activity as president over the past 17 years, what is to be lost with trying big Clive? The answer to that question may vary from territory to territory and director to director. And I suspect that the answers may be more personal and narrower in perspective than one would expect of persons overseeing the one sport in the English-speaking Caribbean that has the islanders rallying together every so often.

I wonder what president Hunte hopes to achieve over a fourth term that he did not in the previous three? As vice-president to Hunte, does Whycliffe "Dave" Cameron truly believe that he is now the best man to oversee West Indies cricket; or is it that he feels as vice-president, it should now be his time to be boss?

Success on the field has a way of developing amnesia among fans sometimes. It would be a mistake though, for anyone to believe that victory at the World Twenty20 series in Sri Lanka last year means that West Indies cricket as a whole is in the best health. Remember that it was also last year that the Board lost lawsuits brought by three of their own players--Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons and Narsingh Deonarine. And there is still a US$20m lawsuit brought by WIPA over the Board's issuing of No Objection Certificates still to be ruled upon.

Lloyd, was a non-voting WICB member before he answered the Guyana Government's call to return home.

He would have a fair idea of the personalities and issues he would have to confront at Board level. But clearly, his former colleagues prefer not to deal with him.

On a previous occasion a residency rule prevented him from being nominated. This time he was just not wanted.

Speaking of his approaching the Barbados Cricket Association this time, Lloyd told the Jamaican station TVJ: "There was a manifesto sent to them and I sincerely hope that they had a look at it and they may think I am the person they should back, if not, back to the old grind again."

Guess the Bajans are happy to grind on.

So like I was saying, what more is there to say?

Should have just pressed the delete button.

garth.wattley@trinidadexpress.com

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