'Reappointment of Windies selection panel defies logic'
Mon, Sep 24, '12
WIPA press release: The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) is deeply concerned about the recent announcement by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that it had approved the reappointment of its Selection Committee for another two (2) year term. WIPA's concern is based on the very serious breaches of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which govern the relationship between the two parties, concerning matters
over which the current Selection Committee presided.
In particular, the WICB has recently been found guilty on two separate occasions of various breaches of the MoU’s Article VII which deals with the selection process, the issue of selection being under the sole purview of their Selection Committee. The WICB Selection Committee in place at the time that the offending acts were committed was led by its Chairman, Clyde Butts, with the other members being Courtney Browne and Robert Haynes. All three have been reappointed by the WICB following its most recent Board meeting. Among the findings against them were:
1. Failure to conduct the selection process in a fair and transparent manner.
2. Failure to uphold the integrity of the selection process.
3. Making unfounded denigrating public comments about players.
These findings arose from arbitration hearings conducted by Mr. Seenath Jairam, S.C., in disputes raised with the WICB by WIPA on behalf of Ramnaresh Sarwan and Lendl Simmons.
In the both the Sarwan and Simmons matters, Mr. Jairam stated in his ruling: “In my considered view the selection process was not done in a fair and transparent manner and therefore in breach of Article VII (e) (i) of the MOU. Further, the integrity of the selection process has not been kept or maintained since public comments have been made which denigrated the Claimant.”
To the best of WIPA’s recollection this is the first time in the history of West Indies cricket that such charges have been upheld against a WICB Selection Committee.
Even more worrying to WIPA was the evidence, given under oath, by Mr. Butts which revealed his lack of knowledge of the contents of either the CBA or MoU, and the fact that he was unaware of the proper manner in which the appraisal of players should be carried out. The fact that this testimony of Mr. Butts, coupled with the breaches of the agreements committed, could be rewarded by the WICB with a 2 year extension for him and his Committee defies logic.
None of the stakeholders of West Indies cricket - players, fans and sponsors alike - ought to have any confidence that the selection process can be fair and transparent under these same selectors.
This decision by the WICB is just another example of an administration which displays a total disregard for due process and has no regard whatsoever for the players, its prime assets. WIPA can only hope that the arrival of the new WICB CEO will change the current landscape by bringing reason, order, accountability and good governance to the table.