Excerpts of ?A? Team Report
Sat, Jul 23, '05
EDITOR?S NOTE: The following report was submitted to West Indies Cricket Board chief executive Roger Brathwaite by a member of the West Indies ?A? team management regarding Tony Howard?s interaction with the ?A? team in Sri Lanka.
It is with grave sadness I undertake writing an account of what transpired during the last game of our A Team tour here in Sri Lanka (29th-1st July 05). The entire West Indies A Team is very confused and frustrated with the current impasse between the WICB and WIPA. This situation has totally destroyed the unity, trust and respect within the team. It would appear that unfortunately all the planning and hard work of the management team on tour is in danger of going down the drain.
The senior team?s manager Mr. Tony Howard was notified on the 28th of June 05 of the decision taken by several players in the West Indies A Team. A total of 13 players, excluding Tino [Best] and [Kerry] Jeremy held the view that solidarity should be shown with the Senior Team by making themselves unavailable for selection on the Sri Lanka Tour. A letter was written and signed by all 13 players conveying this decision. This said letter was copied and given to Tony Howard on the 28th of June 05 by manager Lyndel Wright.
[Some of the players said] that Mr. Howard after receiving the letter of solidarity from the 13 players, he went on to continuously inquire about players availability mainly on a personal one-on-one basis and via telephone calls to their rooms. [It] undermined team protocol and Mr. Wright?s position as manager of the A Team. Mr. Howard was well aware of the players position and went on to campaign under a guise in an attempt to change individual players? position.
The West Indies A Team has a manager in that of Mr. Wright and Mr. Howard, being a manager himself, should have known better to address issues through the proper lines of communication in a team.
Jermaine Lawson [said that] on numerous occasions Mr. Howard inquired about his availability; so too did Carlton Baugh who even received a phone call from Mr. Howard on the morning of 1st July encouraging him to sign a tour match contract for Sri Lanka after the Senior Team was selected and after Dwight Washington had withdrawn his signature.
Washington [said] that he also received calls from Mr. Howard probing into his decision. Nikita Miller during the game (29th June) had the displeasure of having Tony Howard pull him aside one on one and basically coax him into changing his position. This to me is unacceptable and interfered with the team negatively.
Tony Howard by discussing and making it a point of duty to sit around and approach players one on one directly placed tremendous pressure on players to change a decision which had already been difficult to make. It was even worse when it was done at the actual game and he went as far as using Tino Best and Dwayne Smith to help in the process of calling on players to Jacqui King (the physiotherapist?s) room. [She] also facilitated part of the process.
These secret meetings were all happening without the Manager, Coach and Captain being aware.
Xavier Marshall [said] that he virtually signed because he was under pressure from Mr. Howard. I quote ?sign this here scout and I will talk to you? were the manager?s words to him. It was a situation where guys were asked to sign the contract page with no prior reading of the contract, nor was a copy given in order to seek advice if necessary.
All players were affected negatively from the moment Tony Howard addressed [the team] privately on the 26th of June where a decision had to be made. He basically traveled foot to foot with our team as a silent member from then onwards and did severe damage to our cohesiveness as an A Team.