Test icon Shivnarine Chanderpaul says the success of the domestic franchise system has left him with no choice but to support incumbent Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron in his re-election bid.
The 44-year-old, the most capped West Indies player in Tests when he left the game four years ago, said Cameron had managed to put in place a crucial building block for cricket development and should be afforded the opportunity to continue his good work.
“As a player for two decades and now a coach with the most successful franchise in the West Indies region, I have come to appreciate the tremendous work that administrators have to do behind the scene,” Chanderpaul said.
“I observe the recent development regarding the upcoming elections at Cricket West Indies, and would like to endorse the Cameron/Nanthan ticket.”
“My reason is simple. Over the past five years with the introduction of the franchise system, cricket in the Caribbean has seen quite an improvement. Mr Cameron, despite many challenges, has been able to stabilise West Indies cricket and he deserves a chance to continue to contribute to our growth and development in the region.”
With his endorsement, Chanderpaul has become the first major former cricketer to publicly support the Cameron ticket, which includes vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan.
Over the last week, the likes of legends Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts and Clive Lloyd, along with Darren Sammy, have all come out in support of challengers Ricky Skerritt and running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow.
Former West Indies fast bowler Tino Best has also endorsed Cameron, who is bidding for a fourth successive term in charge.
Twelve votes are up for grabs in Sunday’s elections in Jamaica, with each of the six territorial boards having two votes.
Already, Chanderpaul’s home board Guyana, along with Windward Islands and Barbados, have pledged to support the Cameron ticket while Trinidad and Tobago and Leeward Islands have indicated their backing for Skerritt and Shallow.
Jamaica are yet to declare their support, leaving their two votes crucial to the outcome of the election.