Bridgetown: Jamaican businessman Dave Cameron has been elected president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), beating incumbent Julian Hunte in a close vote at the Annual General Meeting here. Cameron, who previously served as vice-president to Hunte, won 7-5 on Wednesday to usher the change of guard in one of the Caribbean's most prestigious bodies.
His running mate Emmanuel Nanthan, the Windward Islands Cricket Board chief, also took the post of vice-president after beating Barbados Cricket Association president Joel Garner, 8-4. "I am happy and feel extremely blessed to be leading this august body this afternoon," Cameron said. "As you know, the election process has been a long one... I travelled Kingston to Georgetown to ensure that I was able to address the concerns of our stakeholders."
"As Emmanuel and I take over the West Indies Cricket Board, we take it over with very, very lofty goals in our minds but also with the understanding of the reason we are here and what everybody in the region is looking forward to." Cameron, who comes to the post with over ten years of WICB experience, campaigned on promises to improve the Board's financial viability and increase the involvement of the region's corporate sector.
He said he was now prepared for this challenge as well as that of uniting of West Indies cricket and charting a path for the success of the regional team. "In my manifesto, I talked about improving and building on our immense talent, increasing the revenues in the sport,... participation and about uniting the region through cricket," he said.
Cameron, at age 42, and Nanthan, 45, represent two of the youngest ever leaders of the West Indies cricket. Their election ended the 73-year-old Hunte's bid for a fourth successive two-year term and marked the second major administrative change in the West Indies cricket within the last seven months.
Last September, Lucian Ernest Hilaire stepped down as the chief executive officer, to take up a diplomatic posting on behalf of his country's government in London. He was subsequently replaced by Jamaican Michael Muirhead.
Nanthan was quick to praise Hunte's contribution to the game, noting the Lucian had done a "tremendous job" in rebuilding West Indies cricket. "He is my friend and has been for a number of years. He is to me a hero, coming from the Windward Islands, and I am proud of the way he presided over the WICB during a difficult time and now the baton has been passed on," said Nanthan, also president of the Dominica Cricket Board.
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