Let Me Refresh Your Memory
Sat, Sep 9, '06
I read with great consternation the recent press release put out by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) supposedly responding to my allegations put forward as to the reasons for my resignation from the cricket committee.
If it wasn't coming from the people entrusted with running our regional game, it would have been laughable. Let me deal with it item by item.
is a rebuttal of my accusation that the cricket committee had been sidestepped in regarding the selection of the team to tour Pakistan. It contains an excerpt from an email from Clive Lloyd the chairman of the committee to Ken Gordon the president of the WICB which reads. "With regards to the cricket committee being ?sidestepped? over the selection of players my view of this is that the cricket committee should not have been involved in this issue consequently the responsibility rests solely with the WICB selectors."
This is a smokescreen trying to imply that I was saying that the cricket committee should be involved in the selection of the personnel going to Pakistan. That is not so. I was saying that the cricket committee should have been consulted if there had been any problems with the TIMING of the selection of the team, not the makeup of the team.
It was the cricket committee that recommended the members of the selection committee, so why then would I think the cricket committee should interfere with team selection. There can be no denial that the entire selection panel was not consulted in this matter as Andy Roberts and Clyde Butts knew nothing about it.
Item 2: States that I claimed that the WICB president and the WICB failed to reach an agreement with billionaire Allen Stanford over the US$5 million 20/20 match against South Africa because of a conflict of dates with the Pakistan future tours.
Well actually that came from Tony Cozier in his article dated September 3rd titled "Cozier on cricket - Gordon dropped ball". But since it has been thrown into the pot I will deal with it as well. Their response is that the Stanford group applied directly to the ICC for ratification of its 20/20 tournament and not to the WICB as should have been the case and that when the group contacted the WICB, the board was already negotiating the Pakistan tour.
Now what a load of rubbish. The facts of the matter are that the Stanford group got in touch with the ICC asking what were the procedures to get the tournament ratified and the ICC's reply was that it had to be endorsed by the WICB. It was the WICB who then wrote to the ICC and it was the WICB that the ICC responded to way back in January, sending a copy of that letter to the Stanford group.
Item 3: Declares that I stated that when Ken Gordon became president, he changed the terms of reference for the cricket committee, leading to Clive Lloyd and myself withdrawing. In their defense, the WICB statement quotes another excerpt from Clive Lloyd's email to the president. "From my recollection the personnel recommended for that committee by you were not accepted by the WICB. I do not recall resigning from that committee. In that instance, Michael Holding resigned for personal reasons. I was then asked to form a cricket committee earlier this year and Michael Holding accepted the post of one of the members of the cricket committee."
Well if Clive Lloyd and Ken Gordon need to refresh their memories, they need not look any further than the WICB website where they will see a press release dated August 22nd 2005 posted at 6.46pm. It is titled "King chairs 'Win World Cup' Committee". The same committee that all of a sudden had been changed from just a regular cricket committee. Near to the bottom of the release they will see the sentence, "Clive Lloyd, who had originally been invited to be chairman, and Michael Holding declined invitations to join the committee due to heavy overseas commitments".
I know what Clive Lloyd told me was his reason for declining but since he can't recall, I won't go there but as I said before and repeat now, I declined because the 'cricket committee' is what I had agreed to be a part of, not this 'Win World Cup committee'. Again I won't try to speak for Clive Lloyd but my overseas commitments haven't changed since August 2005 so how come I was able to take up the offer of this new cricket committee?
Item 4: This time I am quoted as saying that Ken Gordon wrote to me after receiving my resignation letter saying that Lara and the selectors had agreed that the team to Pakistan should not be selected early and that after checking with Andy Roberts and Clyde Butts, they confirmed that they had no discussions with Lara on the matter and that my conclusion was that either the president had been misinformed or that he was being economical with the truth.
The WICB defense is that Chief Cricket Operations Manager Zorol Barthley whose responsibilities include liaison with the selection committee, wrote to the president on September 5th, 2006, confirming that the selectors had asked for a deferral of the team selection for the tour of Pakistan until after the Malaysian Tri-Nation series.
But what the WICB fails to state is the date that the selectors asked for this deferral. My resignation letter is dated August 26th, the same date Roberts and Butts confirmed that they did not have any discussions with Lara. Anything could have transpired between then and September 5th unless the WICB are making out these two gentlemen to be liars.
* Michael Holding is an international television broadcaster who played in 60 Test matches for the West Indies between 1975 and 1987.