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India need to be one of the partners in globalising cricket: Cameron

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on July 12, 2020
Former West Indies cricket board chief Whycliffe Dave Cameron (left)

Cameron is eyeing the ICC chairman's post following Shashank Manohar's decision to step down

Making cricket a global sport is Whycliffe Dave Cameron's biggest goal. The former West Indies cricket board chief, who is eyeing the ICC chairman's post following Shashank Manohar's decision to step down, believes he has what it takes to take the sport to the next level.

"My strategic role (if elected) will be to grow the sport globally. We are hopeful at this point. We have been talking to the movers and shakers in the world cricket as much as possible to get their support," the Jamaican said during a Facebook live with Khaleej Times on Sunday.

Cameron, however, admitted that it would be a massive challenge for him to become the new ICC boss if Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain and the current president of the BCCI, throws his hat into the ring.

"If India puts in a candidate, it will be difficult for any (other) candidate (to win) because of the support they (BCCI) have," Cameron said.

"But I am hoping that this time around, we would start looking at world cricket, rather than the individual countries because I believe I can go there and represent India as well as everyone else while ensuring the sustainability of the sport.

"If the big name (Sourav) comes in, all respect to him. I would love to work with him because, you know, sports is all about personalities. We, the administrators, do the strategies, but at the end of the day, the players are the heroes. I am glad that I could be someone who could assist in making the sport global."

Cameron, however, knows it's not going to be easy for cricket to give a sport like football a run for its money.

"I am not saying that we are going to be equal, competitively or financially, we are just talking about opportunities for more countries to play," he said.

"If more plyers can come from countries like Nepal and Kenya and get big IPL contracts then that helps to grow the sport. That's why India, with all its financial clout, would need to be one of the partners in globalising the sport."

The former Caribbean cricket chief also backs ICC's plan to introduce four-day Test matches despite growing concerns from several players, including Indian captain Virat Kohli.

"We have to keep the busy international schedule in mind. We had a six-day Test match in the past. Then there was a five-day Test with a rest day and now we have five days. What's happening is that we are growing three different formats, actually it's four (including the T10). It's really not a decision of what I like, but it's really about what makes best sense," he said.

"The game cannot grow unless you have the best players playing all the time. So if you are going to have a five-day Test, which creates challenges for the calendar for some countries then obviously that creates an issue. So we have to look at the best products that can grow the sport. You know it's less about tradition and more about growth.

"Although some players are saying we don't want to lose the tradition of the five-day game, but some others are also saying 'we want more money from the sport. We want to maximise our value!"

Finally, Cameron opened up on taking cricket to the Olympics.

"I definitely support cricket going to the Olympics. The board members at the ICC know that I support it. We have women cricket at the Commonwealth Games and hopefully, we can take it forward. In my mind, the T20 would be the best format (to take cricket to the Olympics)," he said.

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