6th November 2014
A one-stop WI Rumshop round-up of Caribbean cricket comment, news & views
The WICB released their first Press Release for sometime on Thursday evening here in the Caribbean, following the eagerly awaited gathering that had been expected to, among other things, ratify the sackings of all three of West Indies’ international captains, or perhaps not.
And it revealed, well, not quite nothing – but it wasn’t the great big denouement we’d been waiting for. The suspects may have been gathered in the drawing-room, but Monsieur Poirot is not yet ready to tell us who committed the foul deed – and who will be lead away handcuffed by the constabulary to face up to the consequences.
What we did learn were the members of the Task Force, who are:
“Michael Gordon QC – Chairman
Sir Wes Hall
Honourable Dennis Lalor
The WICB may add members to the Task Force pending their agreement.
The Secretary to the Task Force is WICB attorney Alanna Medford. Mr. Gerard Pinard will serve as Industrial Relations advisor to the Task Force.
The Team Management Unit debriefing will take place on November 11th in Antigua.”
The final name on the Task Force led Dinanath Ramnarine into paroxysms of protest on Twitter:
“I strongly object to Mr. Gerard Pinard giving any advice on IR on this task force. It is clear that the WICB wants this to be a task farce.
“Mr. Pinard has worked for the WICB and has taken very strong anti player positions and therefore to sit in a process that is suppose to be…
“fair, transparent and more importantly appear independent he shud withdraw immediately Anything less would confirm that this is a task FARCE.
“C’mon peeps dont let me b a voice in d wilderness Let’s take back our game from those who r intent on making it a circus run by a few clowns.
“Let your voices be heard Its the only way we can save people from themselves. Any process must be fair and transparent This is a task FARCE.
“Interestingly in the WICB’s release they did not deny the sacking of the 3 captains as have been reported recently in the media. Let’s see!!”
He does have a point.
In the last day or so, he has forcefully made several others:
“If the news of firing the three Capts is true, then this is confirmation that WICB in its current form is more vindictive than I thought.
“It’s a sad reflection of our leaders in cricket D Governance Structure must be a priority Dis will continue to happen if things don’t change.
“If the info is true as reported in the TNT Guardian that Joel Garner is appointed Manager, well he will forever be known as a scab manager.
“From reports there is an imminent vote of no confidence as Prez of BCA and recently a major controversy in the hiring of a questionable CEO.
“He then gets a promotion a well paid one 2 b Manager of the WI team This is typical when himself answering to himself They appoint himself.
“The WICB Board meetings must be real fun as they have to come out very strong, so getting rid of people will send the right message.
“The only thing is that the people who shud be fired are making the decision as to who shud be fired This is Governance at its best Fire Them.
“Wanted to say a big thank you to KKR for looking after Sunil Narine. Sunil, I wish you all the best my friend. Champion bowler and person.
“If I need B’dos support for the next elections to remain in power maybe I shud offer the Prez a job Go and take control of the team in SA.
“Do something I couldn’t do in India or I should have done in India Fire people left, right and center and those responsible remain in office.
“Chris Gayle injured RCB pays med. bills, Pollard injured, MI pay med bills, Sunil in action rehab, KKR pay bills. WICB says be loyal to us.
“There is a saying who pays when the players are injured and help with their rehab calls the tune. Loyalty and respect is a two way street.
“I feel sorry for Reyad Emrit, he is between a rock and a hard place The rock WICB and the hard place TTCB. Both org HEADS are hard! B strong.
“Why was the task force appointed again. Wasn’t it to find out what caused the premature end to the tour. Well Ramdin get fired, Sir Ritchie.
“All the wrong people getting fired before the inquiry. I hope they saving the ones most culpable for last. I am not holding my breath. I die.”
I wonder whether Sir Vivian Richards will be as loquacious now that he’s joined Twitter?
But to return to the WICB’s Press Release, which continued:
“The WICB wishes to make it explicitly clear that contrary to media reports, Sir Richie Richardson has not been removed as Team Manager of the West Indies Team.”
Earlier in the day reports had emerged that seemed to confirm the news of the Management shift, which had been one of the items ‘revealed’ by Andrew Mason this week. It may be this is an event yet to happen; it may be that it will not happen at all; or it may all be just cosmetic – with Sir Richie staying as Team Manager, and Garner being the Tour Manager in South Africa.
The Press Release then continued with the kind of waffle that is usually the preserve of Dr Ralph Gonsalves, until we reached the last two paragraphs:
“The WICB advises that following the meeting, the Board sent a draft joint statement to the attorneys representing WIPA and the players and is awaiting the response of the players’ attorney. A statement will be provided once such response is received.”
So what does that mean? That the WICB won’t say anything concrete until they’ve heard back from everyone else? Do they need to know that the representatives of WIPA are ‘batting for them’ in the course of action upon which they have progressed from being a ‘proposal’ to a ‘resolution’ (which could of course be the decision to sack the captains); are they giving the (striking ODI) players an opportunity to prepare themselves for the worst, or best of outcomes for them? Or is this all just monumental stalling/time-wasting/buck-passing/incompetence?
I would expect that the players’ attorney, Ralph Thorne must be appalled at the implication that he is the one holding up proceedings – that a statement cannot be made by the WICB until they have heard back from him – after we have all waited days for any statement from the WICB at all. The players and Thorne are determined that the WICB must revert to the previously agreed position of ‘no victimisation’.
The Press Release ends:
“The WICB thanks the Honourable Prime Ministers for their interest in and facilitation of this matter and looks forward to their continued support and that of CARICOM with regard to the response to the communique from the BCCI.”
My reading of that is, ‘thanks, but no thanks for all your help in the peace talks with the players – we’ve decided to go ahead and do it our way. Oh, but can you give us a hand passing the hat round to the other PMs? We’re a bit short you see, and we’ve got this rather large bill coming in in about a week…‘
But don’t expect anyone to be in a hurry to put their hands in their pockets, or for the BCCI to negotiate with the WICB. When it comes to actually paying the USD$42m claim, I’m betting that this article here has got it bang on the nose. The WICB will be bailed out, for the good of the game, by the ICC. The alternative is unthinkable.
Effectively, the BCCI will lay claim to yet another large sum from the collective coffers.
If the day’s Press Release didn’t say much but left plenty to the imagination, the same could not be said of Denesh Ramdin’s statement.
In it he spoke of feeling “hurt” and “embarrassed” when he was “restricted from attendance at a practice session with the Trinidad and Tobago team on Thursday, October 30, 2014.”
On the following Monday, he was told by the TTCB that:
“Since I did not demonstrate proper leadership in relation to the tour in India, I would be relieved of the captaincy and would be replaced by Rayad Emrit. I understood this to be a punishment contrary to the undertaking given by the WICB at the meeting on Friday, October 31, 2014.”
“I am also advised that this action is a breach of my rights having regard to the fact that the Task Force appointed by the WICB has not made any findings and has made no findings of misconduct against me.”
This sanctioning, by his own regional Board, must make his chances of hanging on to the WI captaincy highly unlikely.
Meanwhile, WIPA President, Wavell Hinds is having his own further problems outside the current crisis. Barbados Today reported that he is to be sued by Hartley Reid, following the fiasco earlier this season surrounding Kirk Edwards.
And so it all rolls on. And the proper analysis is really only just beginning.
And you can still catch Dennis and I discussing the situation here.
And for a thorough round-up of all that has gone on thus far, you need look no further than the Master, Gideon Haigh.
As for me, I think that’s all I’m going to have time for in covering the goings on, for the time being at least.
Christine and I head off shortly for a fortnight in New Orleans, and she’s very happy that I’m committed to leaving this keyboard behind.
That makes two of us.
David Oram is the resident ‘statto’, and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – Voice of Barbados’ weekly cricket talk show, the leading cricket radio show in the West Indies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.