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The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, has come down hard on West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron and has said that he needs to step down from his position. He added that Cameron’s handling of the contract dispute, which led to West Indies’ players withdrawing from their tour of India mid-way was ‘poor’ and ‘embarrassing’. Intriguingly, Cameron is set to stand for re-election during the annual general meeting that will take place in Jamaica on March 7.

“I hope the respective boards in the territories tell him to take a break and come back at a later date, perhaps with more mature, renewed skills of leadership,” Gonsalves told CMC.

“I think his leadership in this regard has been extremely poor and has embarrassed us before the world. I happen to know certain facts which draw me to the conclusion that it is his sole leadership that led to the premature end of the tour of India. And I believe he bears heavy responsibility and really he should withdraw himself from any consideration for any leadership or from his term.”

Gonsalves, known for his keen interest in cricket, had tried to play a key role to resolve the stalemate surrounding West Indies’ cricket. Gonsalves had even put himself forward “to assist in any appropriate capacity” to settle the contract dispute.

As a result of the West Indies withdrawing from their tour of India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) claimed damages of up to US$41.97 million from the WICB.

Gonsalves, on his part, said that Cameron has to take the major share of the blame for the debacle. “It doesn’t mean that the players were not to have showed greater restraint in the interest of the region. However, you can’t send people there [India] without a contract and then your attitude to them was that you aren’t talking to them. Even his attitude to the Indian board was quite dismissive.”

Gonsalves also said that he plans to bring in CARICOM, an organisation that looks to promote economic integration and cooperation in the Caribbean, to find a solution for the damages claimed by BCCI.

“I am engaged in this matter not to help Cameron, who I am satisfied is the person primarily responsible for this debacle. However, I want to assist West Indies cricket which is bigger than Cameron. Whatever way I can help, I will help,” Gonsalves summed up.
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