WICB: Arbitrator ruling flawed
l St John's
Responding to statements by the West Indies Players Association on the Ramnaresh Sarwan arbitration matter, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) yesterday countered with statements of its own.
Saying that yesterday's release would be the last on the matter, since "at this critical time leading up to a world (T20) event, that the focus remains on the West Indies Men's and Women's teams and the favourable appraisals of the teams' prospects in the tournament," the WICB claimed that:
1. The WICB made repeated attempts to discuss the matter with Sarwan and WIPA.
2. At no time did the WICB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ernest Hilaire or any other officer of the Board threaten Mr. Sarwan in any manner.
3. At no time did the WICB CEO or any other officer of the Board instruct any selector on any course of action to be taken in relation to the selection of any West Indies team.
4. The selection committee is guided by reports of the WICB Medical Panel and team physiotherapist. It is the Fitness Report of March 11, 2010 that stated that Mr. Sarwan was not fit for selection.
5. Dr. Hilaire sent a letter to Sarwan based on the tour report following the West Indies Tour to Australia 2009.
6. Sarwan had a telephone conversation with Dr. Hilaire relating to the letter. Sarwan, in that telephone conversation contested that he was unfit and argued that the team physiotherapist and fitness trainer did not like him. Dr. Hilaire defended the professionalism of the staff. Sarwan was told that he would need to satisfy team management that he was sufficiently fit to play.
Sarwan presented his version of the events as his evidence to the arbitrator.
8. The Arbitrator did not allow WICB counsel to cross-examine Sarwan on these matters nor did the arbitrator seek to find any evidence of the claims made by Sarwan. The arbitrator simply accepted WIPA's and Sarwan's version of evidence as true despite emails and letters which could have been provided to show contrary to the claims.
9. Neither WIPA nor Sarwan was able to show the arbitrator any evidence of any instruction by any WICB officer to any selector relating to selection of Sarwan but nevertheless stated such as a matter of fact.
The WICB release ended by saying that it, "does not wish to be engaged in unhelpful sustained legal battles with players and in this instance has agreed to settle even though the Board has been advised that the arbitrator's ruling is flawed. The WICB now considers this matter closed."