CRICKET West Indies president Dave Cameron said his statement concerning women physical education (PE) teachers in Jamaica was misunderstood.
In the Jamaica Gleaner on February 25, Cameron said some PE teachers in Jamaica are hurting the game of cricket because they do not know the game.
“It has nothing to do with the Government,” Cameron told The Sunday Gleaner. “Firstly, we only have female PE teachers, which is a problem. Most of them don’t know cricket. The game of cricket is very complicated. They don’t know the history and neither are they interested. That becomes an issue. When we went to school, most of our PE teachers, if not all, were male. So they coach cricket, football, track and field, and we’re not getting that any more.”
Cameron was criticised by a number of people for his comment including Minister of Education Anthony Garcia.
Yesterday, Cameron attempted to clear the air on the situation at the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket launch at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
Cameron said his statement was misconstrued, “That statement was totally misunderstood...I am not going to clarify the statement, I am going to tell you what the question was. The question to me was ‘Do you think the Government is to be blamed for the seemingly lack of popularity of cricket in schools in Jamaica?’” Cameron said women PE teachers are needed in schools, but admitted he prefers men to teach male cricket teams. “Of course we want women PE teachers, that is not the issue. The issue is we need more men if we are going to grow the game of cricket specifically for male sides, because boys learn from men. That is a specific issue.”
The CWI president reiterated that cricket is a sport that requires more technical expertise compared to other sports. “The game of cricket is technical...(and) requires a little more than track and field and football. What is very interesting to me today is to see the amount of young ladies who performed (at the launch) and are passionate about the game. We need both sexes. I am saying there is a major issue with the men and so that is affecting the growth of the game and the popularity in Jamaica.”
The communication between top West Indies players and CWI selectors, led by Courtney Browne, have not been great in recent years. At times, this has led to some West Indies players playing in T20 leagues instead of West Indies.
There has been a rift between CWI and players since West Indies walked off an India tour in 2014 over a salary dispute. Concerning communication between players and selectors Cameron said, “On the players side, we keep saying to our selectors that they must be very clear in communicating to our players, and we ask that our players are very clear in communicating with Mr Browne. I can only go off what Mr Browne says. Again, we are coming from a very difficult set of situations and there are still emotions that are flaring. But I think we are getting better, we continue to try and we only ask that our players understand as well and communicate through the right medium, not in the press.”