Gayle, Sarwan Fire Lawyer; Retract Statement
Tue, Aug 2, '05
The West Indies contract dispute took another dramatic twist late Tuesday with the announcement from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle that a statement issued on their behalf by Guyanese attorney Sanjeev Datadin was done without their approval.
In that statement, issued by Datadin on July 27, the two batsmen distanced themselves from the position of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and said they would consider breaking ranks with teammates if invited to play for the West Indies again. Six days later, Gayle and Sarwan announced that Datadin was fired and they were standing in solidarity with WIPA.
"We have never given any instructions to say or suggest that we will break or have broken away from, disapproved of or had any complaint about WIPA or its handling of any matter," Gayle and Sarwan said.
"We have been made aware and have been involved in the decision-making by WIPA on our behalf and other players throughout. We deny categorically that pressure was placed on us by WIPA to make any decisions at any time," they added.
"We have informed Mr. Sanjeev Datadin that his services will no longer be required with immediate effect," the pair said, noting they remain committed to West Indies cricket.
Those comments are in sharp contrast to Datadin's release that made it clear they players' decision to pull out of the tour to Sri Lanka was not an endorsement of WIPA's stance in the ongoing contract dispute.
"They wish to record their disappointment in the way the dispute was handled and the enormous pressure placed upon them by both sides of the dispute. They chose not to tour and to stand in solidarity with their colleagues. In no way was their decision an endorsement of the position of either side of the dispute. However, team loyalty is paramount to them and in light of other team members not wishing to tour, they felt they had little choice but decline to go to Sri Lanka," Datadin had said.
"The decision not to tour was a difficult one; and if offered the opportunity again to play for the West Indies they are likely to consider their position independently. They wish to say to their loyal fans and the West Indian public that their commitment to West Indies cricket remains firm and seek their understanding at this very difficult time," the lawyer's statement read.
Late Tuesday night, Datadin told CaribbeanCricket.com he is supportive of Gayle and Sarwan, despite their latest decision.
"I support Gayle and Sarwan as cricketers and as honourable gentlemen, whatever view they may express. If that is the statement they issued, I respect it."
He declined further comment.