It's a "dead issue".
That's how West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) CEO Ernest Hilaire feels about the arbitration matter that was recently won by out-of-favour West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan. Sarwan was awarded $1 million, the ruling agreeing that the Guyanese cricket had been "publicly denigrated and humiliated".
Arbitrator Seenath Jairam, SC, LLM found the WICB guilty of all charges brought against it by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and ruled that the WICB had to pay Sarwan for damages for loss of retainer contract, breach of contract (failure to ensure fair and transparent selection process), and loss of publicity/reputation.
The Board was also ordered to pay 85 per cent of conducting the arbitration, roughly $500,000.
It was also reported that Sarwan claimed during testimony at the arbitration hearing that Hilaire had "threatened" his career, and questioned his fitness and commitment to the West Indies team.
Contacted yesterday by the Express, Hiliare said the matter was over and he preferred not to comment on a matter he felt had been "distorted".
Hilaire did say, however, that he "strongly believes" West Indies cricket cannot afford to "go back to the old days'.
The outgoing WICB CEO is in his last month in the position, after which he will take up a new post as St Lucia High Commissioner to London.
The ruling, though, has raised questions over the Board's handling of issues in relation to its players. A number of arbitration matters have gone WIPA's way, including a decision in the T&T High Court to grant the players body an injunction to stop the WICB from terminating the last Memorandum of Understanding/Collective Bargaining Agreement (MOU/CBA).
Hilaire suggested in an interview last week with the Express that the MOU/CBA was the most problematic area, which caused the biggest "issues" between the WICB and WIPA.
Attempts by the Express to reach WIPA for comment yesterday proved unsuccessful.