‘Cameron wasn’t CWI Pied Piper’ – Former president’s legal rep claims report dismisses board’s ‘collective responsibility’

By Sports Desk May 24, 2020
Former CWI president Dave Cameron. Former CWI president Dave Cameron.

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.”

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    The West Indies will need just two wickets tomorrow and attempt to minimize the 170-run lead the hosts have after they were restricted to 284-8.

    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

    After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Holder.

    Holder, for the second time, turned Stokes around after just changing the field to include two gullies and had him caught by Shai Hope.

    It’s what he does. He comes back and puts in the big spells for the team.

    Simmons was speaking at the end of day four, highlighting what was a pivotal moment in the West Indies’ second stint on the field.

    England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

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    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

    After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Jason Holder.

    England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

    With just two wickets needed on tomorrow’s final day, the West Indies are hoping not to have to chase too many and to be given the time to do it.  

    All you can do is get the remaining wickets for as little runs as possible and then bat normally,” said Simmons at the end of day four.

    “If we bat for five hours tomorrow to chase 180-190 then it is a normal batting day,” he said.

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    “I think the confidence from the way we batted, the attitude towards batting in the first innings, is going to be a huge plus for us, batting in the second innings. Whether it be 170 or 190 it is going to be the same attitude that you will need to chase it.”

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    As for Crawley, the right-hander's impressive innings came to an end on 76 when he chipped a return catch back to Joseph, who then followed up by bowling Jos Buttler for nine.

    Gabriel produced a fine spell in fading light to bowl both Dom Bess and Ollie Pope, the latter via an inside edge, and though England avoided being dismissed prior to stumps, they had undoubtedly let slip a glorious opportunity after battling so hard to forge their way in front.

    Burns and Sibley continued on from the overnight total of 15 without loss in the early stages of Saturday's play, pushing their opening stand on to 72.

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