WICB statement on Sarwan arbitration matter
St John’s, Antigua – In light of a statement reported in the media as being attributed to the West Indies Players Association relating to the Ramnaresh Sarwan arbitration matter, the WICB deems it necessary to allow the public the benefit of the full facts.
This will be the final WICB statement on this matter. The WICB prefers, at this critical time leading up to a world 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 wishes to premise the presentation of the facts on two clear points as follows:
1. The WICB recognized that there were grounds for appeal of the Ramnaresh Sarwan arbitration ruling in what the WICB had been advised is a highly flawed ruling by the Arbitrator. However the Board wished to bring closure to the issue and has settled in accordance with the decision of the Arbitrator.
2. The Board sees no benefit to West Indies cricket in the deliberate circulation, by a not unknown party who continues to pursue an agenda of personal relevance, of information pertaining to matters which have been settled. It can only serve to continue a familiar pattern of discontent and discord which is readily identifiable with a certain modus operandi.
1. The WICB made repeated attempts to discuss the matter with Mr. 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 Mr. Sarwan based on the tour report following the West Indies Tour to Australia 2009.
6. Mr. Sarwan had a telephone conversation with Dr. Hilaire relating to the letter. Mr. 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. Mr. Sarwan was told that he would need to satisfy Team Management that he was sufficiently fit to play.
7. Mr. Sarwan presented his version of the events as his evidence to the Arbitrator.
8. The Arbitrator did not allow WICB Counsel to cross-examine Mr. Sarwan on these matters nor did the Arbitrator seek to find any evidence of the claims made by Mr. Sarwan. The Arbitrator simply accepted WIPA’s and Mr. 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 Mr. Sarwan was able to show the Arbitrator any evidence of any instruction by any WICB officer to any selector relating to selection of Mr. Sarwan but nevertheless stated such as a matter of fact.
Finally the WICB reiterates 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.