Sarwan: Hilaire threatened my career
Sun, Sep 9, '12
by VINODE MAMCHAN
The West Indies Cricket Board was recently directed to award TT$1 million (US$155,900) to Ramnaresh Sarwan for “publicly denigrating and humiliating” the Guyanese middle order batsman. The payment is part of a $1.5 million pay out in damages which the Board incurred recently. Sarwan was awarded the damages after winning his arbitration matter against the WICB, a case in which he was cleared of all charges levelled against him by WICB, CEO Ernest Hilliare regarding his fitness and attitude.
Arbitrator Seenath Jairam SC, LLM, found the WICB guilty of breaching the selection process and not operating in a fair and transparent manner.
The judgement also revealed that the Board failed to comply with the appraisal process, breaching the principles of natural justice by failing to give Sarwan an opportunity to be heard, causing him significant loss and damage. In addition to the damages, 85 per cent of the cost of conducting the arbitration proceedings have to be paid by the WICB.
In his evidence at the arbitration, Sarwan stated that Dr. Hilaire threatened him and told him if he did not change his attitude, his career would come to an end.
Sarwan stated that following the West Indies tour of Australia in 2009-2010, he received a letter from Hilaire which indicated that the WICB had just concluded its review of the tour and had concerns about his ‘attitude and approach to fitness and physical preparation’.
Sarwan stated that the letter failed to provide him with information to ascertain the nature of the alleged concerns. As a result, he sought clarification, as well as an opportunity to address the reports.
He said he telephoned Hilaire for clarification on what was meant by ‘Sarwan’s attitude and approach to physical fitness’. He told Hilaire that no one said anything to him about his attitude during the tour or anytime before. He asked Hilaire why such an issue had emerged after the tour.
Hilaire said that the report came from the trainer of the West Indies team.
Sarwan said he was confused since the trainer had spoken to him after the tour and showed him the report he had prepared.
He said the report indicated that the trainer had no problem with his attitude and dedication towards playing, especially since he was injured during the tour. Sarwan told the arbitrator that this was opposite to what Hilaire wrote in his letter.
He added that he told Hilaire about the conversation with the trainer and indicated that the trainer had shown him the report. Sarwan said at this point, Hilaire could not justify what was written in the letter and became very aggressive.
“He told me if I did not change my attitude, my career would end, and he hung up.”
Sarwan said he immediately called back Hilaire and asked if he was threatening him. He said Hilaire told him he would inform the selectors to act accordingly.
* Republished with permission from the Trinidad Guardian.