WIPA wants fresh start with WICB
Interim CEO of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), Michael Hall is optimistic of a fresh start in WIPA's relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
The WICB's new CEO, Michael Muirhead took up duty yesterday, at the start of a three-year term, following confirmation of his appointment during a WICB meeting in Barbados last month.
Muirhead replaced Dr. Ernest Hillaire, whose tenure has been marred by turbulence including public spats with former WIPA chief Dinanath Ramnarine and contentious handling of issues relating to senior players, most notably Chris Gayle.
"The incoming (WICB) CEO is also a Jamaican like myself," said Hall. "The fact that he happens to be a personal friend of mine outside of cricket, someone who I have known for more than 20 years, I don't think will hurt. And as with any new appointment, we are optimistic that it will open the door for a more reasoned approach to discussions between the two parties."
WIPA and Dr. Hillaire have been at loggerheads throughout his three-year tenure, with several matters having to be settled in court. Muirhead is starting his new job as CEO amid reports that the WICB has lost its 15th arbitration matter to WIPA involving Guyanese middle-order batsman Narsingh Deonarine.
The ruling in favour of Deonarine, to the tune of TT$500,000, followed a similar pattern to that of recent matters involving Ramnaresh Sarwan and Lendl Simmons. Hall said Dr. Hillaire, who this week takes up a diplomatic posting with the new Kenny Anthony administration in St. Lucia, has been costly to Windies cricket in awards and court fees.
He said the high profile dispute between Dr. Hillaire and Chris Gayle that left the West Indies opener in exile for 14 months has ended, but no money was involved in its resolution.
"The matter of Chris' exclusion and the reasons for him being excluded are no longer an issue with respect to his alleged comments" said Hall.
"We know the history of that matter is concluded to our satisfaction. The terms of his return to the team did not contemplate any such payment."
WIPA and the WICB are currently in a court battle over the Central Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), after the Board tried to terminate the agreement ten months ago.
The trial will commence on October 15 in Trinidad and Tobago. –CMC