Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss, Dave Cameron, is now looking further afield at the possibility of becoming chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

According to reports, Cameron will be seeking nominations for the post but is yet to make a request that the CWI support his bid.

It is not certain if the CWI would support a bid from Cameron either after the former boss and the man who ousted him, Ricky Skerritt, had very public differences, not just during their election campaigns, but recently.

Skerritt investigated Cameron’s tenure as president by way of an audit where there were a number of questions regarding accounting practices of the organization.

CWI vice president, Dr Kishore Shallow has not commented on whether or not the CWI would back such a bid, saying he wanted to wait to discuss it with the board upon the occasion of receiving a formal notice on the matter.

ICC Chairman, Shashank Manohar, will leave the post when his term ends this year with the ICC slated to discuss the election of a new boss in the very near future.

At the moment, frontrunner to fill the spot being left vacant by Manohar is England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief, Colin Graves.

Graves was expected to be elected unopposed when he steps down from his five-year sojourn at the helm of the ECB in August.

Cameron was president of the CWI from 2013-2019.

The West Indies will most likely leave for the United Kingdom (UK) in about a week from today to play England in the first bio-secure Test series in history in July.

The teams will play and whether they win the series or not, England will come away with virtually all the revenues generated from the series. For the West Indies, the story will be significantly different.

Come July 1, the West Indies players and all Cricket West Indies (CWI) staff, will be taking a temporary 50 per cent salary cut.

However, they are not alone. In April, England’s male and female players took a 20 per cent pay cut as the pandemic began to take hold in the UK forcing the postponement of the West Indies’ visit, which was initially scheduled for June.

The thing is, on this tour other than match fees, CWI does not really earn anything. Under this dispensation, wherein the regional players are going to be guinea pigs for the way cricket could be played for the immediate future, they and CWI should be receiving extra compensation.

In fact, pandemic or not, visiting teams need to get something from away series. Without an opponent, the home team has no content for their broadcast partners.

In boxing, for example, should promoters be able to put together a fight between Mike Tyson and me, we would all agree that Tyson would command the bulk of the revenue. After all, he is who they would come to see. However, a reasonable argument could be made that I should be paid fairly for having the daylights knocked out of me.

It definitely takes two to tango.

A couple of years ago, under the Dave Cameron presidency, CWI proposed changes to the current model of wealth distribution in world cricket but those were rejected as being unworkable.

Correctly citing that competitive balance is critical to the appeal of the sport, Cameron argued that: “Broadcasters and viewers are not willing to see international cricket because they are getting to see their stars anyway in the IPL or CPL. As a result, international rights have been devalued, except in the big market, which is India, England and Australia. So, 20 per cent of each series should go to the visiting teams.”

The problem with this proposal is that given what the big teams would have to pay over at the end of a tour, there would not be equitable reciprocation when their teams visit the smaller-market teams rendering it impractical.

Mumbai Mirror writer Vijay Tagore explains it like this. In a column published on May 11, he said Star pays India about U$10 million for every international match. If the West Indies plays six matches on tour, then they would earn US$12million for the tour. When India tours the West Indies, India would earn much less from their 20 per cent take.

Under the current status quo, the International Cricket Council (ICC) generates income from the tournaments it organizes, like the Cricket World Cup. Most of that money goes out to its members.

So, for example, sponsorship and television rights of the World Cup brought in over US$1.6 billion between 2007 and 2015. Sponsorship and membership subscriptions also generate a few extra million.

However, the ICC gets no income from Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. In this scenario, the host country gets the money earned from its broadcast partners and sponsorship as well as gate receipts.

A breakdown of the money distributed from the ICC shows that for the period 2016 to 2023, based on forecasted revenues and costs, the BCCI will receive US$293 million across the eight-year cycle, ECB (England) US$143 million, Zimbabwe Cricket US$94 million and the remaining seven Full Members, including the West Indies, US$132 million each.

Associate members will receive US$280m.

For the CWI that equates to US$16.5 a year. In addition, CWI will generate money from broadcasts of home series. However, not every home series makes ‘good money’. Based on my conversations with CWI CEO Johnny Grave, CWI only makes money when England and India tour the West Indies.

What that means is that when teams like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe visit, CWI loses money.

According to an ICC Paper submitted by CWI in October 2018: The revenue is inextricably linked to the nature of the tours hosted in a member country. It is also linked to the existence of a host broadcaster to exploit media revenues.

“Media values for members vary: the West Indies does not have a host broadcaster, mainly because of the size of its market.”

According to the paper, in 2008 the West Indies revenue was US$19.6m. In 2009, revenue jumped to US$48 and then in 2010, it fell to US$24.2 million. Media rights in 2017 amounted to US$22million but fell precipitously to US$987,000 by the end of the financial year for 2018.

Meanwhile, player salaries remain constant, money goes into grassroots programmes, player development, tournament match fees and salaries, coaches and coaching development, as well as support for the territorial boards. In bad years, these costs easily exceed any revenue generated.

The current model is simply unsustainable but solutions are hard to come by. In the Caribbean, sponsorship is hard to come by. Stadia remain empty because the West Indies does not win consistently enough to bring the crowds back, and for the most part, the ‘stars’ don’t play in regional competitions meaning fans stay away.

Meanwhile, the peaks and troughs in earnings against the costs associated with what is required to maintain a competitive international cricket programme, demonstrates in part why there needs to be a better way; why there needs to be a more equitable way to distribute money generated from bilateral series.

For the smaller market teams, it amounts to a hand-to-mouth existence that keeps them poor and uncompetitive. And frankly, that’s simply not cricket.

 

 

 

 

Tony Astaphan SC, attorney-at-law for former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron, has taken exception to the appearance of what he termed a diminished sense of ‘collective responsibility’, considering some of the accusations levelled against his client in the recent audit report.

The financial report, which singled out Cameron for criticism on several occasions, was commissioned by the current CWI board and conducted by independent auditors Pannell Kerr Foster (PKF).  Among other things, it raised concerns regarding an inadequate accounting system that enabled financial irregularities to go unreported.

Cameron’s legal team has already requested a copy of the contentious document, which has already been leaked, but Astaphan has also been quick to point out that the structure of the CWI remains a board of directors and all decisions were taken and approved at that level.

“If the auditor is in fact making so-called findings on matters that were dealt with by the board and they are so concerned about irregularities and abuses; the directors, including the present ones, from top to bottom, are going to have to come forward and explain their votes to the region and the shareholders,” Astaphan said on the Mason and Guest radio show.

“You can’t just decide to throw one man overboard and say well there goes Cameron swimming down the lagoon again.  Collective responsibility is very important,” he added.

The lawyer strongly rejected the notion that the board members were bullied into voting by the former president, as has been previously suggested.

“It was said that the directors were subservient, subservient, grown men, grown independent men, successful businessmen, politicians and all were subservient to Cameron, that is why they went along with the votes.  As a Caribbean man I would consider that to be contemptuous of my position on the board.”

“There is an implication that there was this and that but everyone went along with Dave Cameron like the pied piper and the rats into the pond.”

Former president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Dave Cameron has threatened legal action against the regional governing body unless it hands over a copy of an audit report critical of his period in office.

The audit, requested by Cameron's successor and conducted by external and independent auditors Pannell Kerr Foster (PKF) raised concerns about an inadequate accounting system that enabled abuses to go unreported and posed a threat to "the board's long-term sustainability."

The audit report singled out Cameron for criticism several times.  The Jamaican was president of CWI (previously WICB) from March 2013 until March 2019. Cameron was defeated during a re-election attempt by current president, Ricky Skerritt.

Cameron said he first became aware of the report when contacted for comment by ESPNcricinfo in April.

The businessman is demanding that he is provided with a copy of the audit report from CWI within 48 hours in order to "respond fully" to the "allegations made by PKF."

A letter from Cameron's attorneys stated "our client maintains that he has serious concerns about the credibility of this report, which involved the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee selected and/or appointed by the President or Board.

"In the circumstances, and having regard to the basic principles of fairness and the right of our client to protect his reputation, our client demands, without prejudice to any rights he may now have, a full copy of this report within 48 hours, and the right to respond fully to all of the questions, comments or allegations made by PKF, and statements made by Mr Holding and the President within 21 days.

"Should CWI whether by way of the Board or management or otherwise seek in the meantime to publish the report, or refuse to meet our client's demands for a copy of the report and time to respond, our client will have no alternative but to seek the appropriate orders and remedies from the High Court."

It has been reported that the letter from Cameron's attorneys was received on Monday.

Extracts from the audit report appeared in publications across the region.

West Indies fast-bowling legend and cricket commentator Michael Holding alluded to a couple of sections - though he has not mentioned Cameron. 

Ricky Skerritt, the current CWI president, acknowledged in a media statement that the report "uncovered some illustrations of questionable executive standards and practices." 

Cameron's attorneys further stated that "the President's statement and especially the use of the word "uncovered" carries the imputation that PKF uncovered previously hidden and unknown material, which justified or warranted the making of serious questions, comments or allegations directed at or against our client as the President of CWI.

"There is no question that Mr Holding believed that the contents of one part of this PKF report raised the real prospect that the offence of money-laundering either occurred, or may have occurred, and/or exposed CWI to the risk of involvement in money-laundering. At all material times, our client was the President of CWI. These allegations have now gone viral throughout the region and elsewhere.

"As indicated above, our client has not seen the report, nor has he been given any opportunity to respond to it, either by PKF or CWI. In fact, at no time did PKF seek to ascertain any fact or comment from him. However, the report or parts thereof were made known to ESPNCricinfo and Mr Holding."

Former president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Dave Cameron has advised the world’s smaller cricket boards to use the circumstances of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to call for more equity in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) revenue-sharing agreement.

Sporting entities across the globe continue to battle the economic fallout from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the spread of the virus bringing a halt to almost all international sport.  In cricket, specifically, the massive disparity between the previous earnings of the ‘big three,’ England, India and Australia and the rest of the smaller nations leaves them even more vulnerable to financial devastation.

The issue of economic disparity was one that was broached by the Cameron-led CWI administration two years ago in a paper to the ICC termed the ‘Economics of Cricket’.  The revenue-sharing model had been adjusted in 2017, but Cameron believed it still fell well short of a truly equitable system.  The former president believes the coronavirus emergency that has greatly exacerbated the situation, shows the dangers of the current model.

"With the current COVID-19 pandemic wreaking financial havoc, the less wealthy cricket boards like West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Zimbabwe will suffer more if they don't stand up,” Cameron said in an interview with the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

"The gap between wealthier and less wealthy cricket nations is widening and will contribute to less wealthy nations being less competitive and the devaluing the international cricket product. The gap immediately expedites the flight of talent away from bilateral international cricket as the less wealthy cricket nations are disadvantaged in funding their professional domestic and national retainer contracts.

"Given the current situation with the COVID-19, the gap will widen further as the less wealthy cricket nations won't be able to sustain investment in cricket and player development, infrastructure and administration," said Cameron.

 

 

 

 

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