September 27, 2020

Cricket: All parties to blame, says report, but WICB, WIPA ‘erred significantly’

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Michael-GordonFrom Stabroek News

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The high level task force commissioned with investigating the ill-fated recent tour of India says the West Indies Cricket Board, players union and West Indies players, were all at fault in the controversy.

In their report submitted to the this weekend, the task force said the while the board and WIPA had “erred significantly” in their administration of the new Memorandum of Understanding, the players also needed to shoulder a “significant proportion of the blame” for the abandoned tour.

The task force, headed by Michael Gordon QC and including ex-WICB president Sir Wes Hall and prominent Barbadian attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham, also laid out eight recommendations aimed at preventing a repeat of the debacle.

This follows a month-long investigation of the crisis which stemmed from the one-day team’s decision to walk off the tour of India, in a contracts dispute with WIPA and the WICB.

West Indies players on tour contended the new MOU would have resulted in a reduction of up to 70 per cent of their earnings and asked for the agreement to be revised.

When this did not occur, they quit the tour following the fourth ODI in Dharamsala, putting paid to the fifth ODI, the one-off Twenty20 International and the scheduled three-Test series.

The task force concluded there was “something fundamentally wrong” with players arriving in India to discover the terms of their employment had undergone “radical change”, and also said “very real questions” existed as to whether the MOU was indeed a contract.

“Both Michael Muirhead and Dave Cameron, CEO and President, respectively of the Board, took the view that it was an enforceable contract. Wavell Hinds (WIPA president) on the other hand was equally firmly of the view that the September MOU was not in and of itself a contract but rather an agreed understanding that would lead to a collective bargaining agreement in much the same way as the prior MOU/CBA arrangement had worked,” the task force said.

“This was fundamental. It is trite law that if two parties to a negotiation do not agree on the effect of a document coming out of these negotiations then there is no meeting of the minds and hence no enforceable contract.

“The Board and WIPA were attempting a sea-change in the financial arrangements for professional cricketers without ensuring that there was understanding and acceptance by the WICB’s employees, the touring cricketers.”

The report added: “Having said the above, we are of the view that whilst WICB and WIPA can neither be accused of bad faith, they both erred significantly in failing to ensure that their vision for the future of West Indies Cricket with its ramifications for the sharing of sponsorship money and the concomitant changes in the level of remuneration for both the senior cricketers and the new class of professional players was clearly understood and the vision shared.”

The task force also contended that the players, especially the senior players on tour, also played a key role in the abandonment. According to the report, ODI captain and players representative Dwayne Bravo, said the squad had been aware of the imminent arrival in India of a joint WICB/WIPA delegation.

This, the task force said, led them to believe there were other factors influencing the decision to abandon the tour, though none were found.

“A significant proportion of the blame for the termination of the tour must also lie with the players, and in particular their leaders. The tour was called off when the players refused to play the 5th ODI on 17th October 2014. At that time according to Mr. Bravo the players knew that Mr. Cameron, and Mr. Hinds were due to come to India to meet with them on the 21st October some [four] days later,” the report said.

“Their anxiety to bring the tour to a premature end without waiting the additional [four] days certainly suggested to the Task Force that, to use a West Indian phrase, ‘there was more in the mortar than the pestle’. There was, however, no information on what the ‘more’ was, but that it existed, the Task Force felt certain.”

It added: “Senior players in any overseas squad bear a great responsibility to set standards and create examples for the more junior players to follow. This, the Task Force felt, the senior players failed to do.”

The task force was set up by the WICB to investigate the controversy, which among other things led the Indian Cricket Board to slap a US$42 million claim on the WICB for losses incurred because of the unplayed matches.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Raph Gonsalves subsequently intervened in the impasse between the WICB, WIPA and the players, eventually brokering a resolution which led to a full strength side selected for the ongoing tour of South Africa.

The WICB said it was studying the report and would make an announcement in due course.

For more on this story go to: http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/news/stories/12/14/parties-blame-says-report-wicb-wipa-erred-significantly/

IMAGE: www.easynetnow.com

 

Related story:

Hopes for new dawn on free movement

ourcaribbean1234-450x303By Rickey Singh, From Barbados Nation news

Faced with the challenge to secure a realistic compromise with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over a threatened US$42 million lawsuit against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the decision-makers of our Caribbean Community are, encouragingly, also revealing a new zeal to inspire popular confidence in the future of the region’s economic integration movement.

At the core of new initiatives to stir region-wide optimism is the removal of lingering bureaucratic paralysis and other hurdles that continue to fester disenchantment in the critical area of free intraregional movement for citizens.

Free or unrestricted movement of nationals across borders has been and remains a core feature of the European Union (EU).

CARICOM governments, organisations and nationals would do well to familiarise themselves with the policies and protocols governing cross-borders movement by European citizens for either private visit, doing business, or the right to live and work.

And more so at this period when tensions are developing among some EU member states and the United Kingdom over increasing flows of European migrants into Britain, a former colonising power of the independent English-speaking states of CARICOM.

One particular irritating problem for CARICOM that continues to stick out like a sore thumb is the recurring failure by governments to inform and sensitise citizens on the modalities of intraregional free movement consistent with the objectives and programmes of the still emerging single market and seamless economy (CARICOM Single Market and Economy – CSME).

Six CARICOM states ceremonially signed at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies on January 30, 2006, to adopt the CSME – Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. OECS member countries had pledged to do so by the end of that year.

A consensual inauguration date for the CSME remains elusive – after two projected dates failed to materialise. Nevertheless, there has been a growing sense of increased awareness of the importance of the CSME in the face of the challenges posed by a widening globalised economy and the evident interdependence of CARICOM states for survival with dignity.

A fortnight ago, secretary general of the 41-year-old Community, Irwin LaRocque, chose to further stir optimism – amid recurring pessimism in some quarters across the region – on the way forward for CARICOM.

Addressing the 48th convocation and graduation ceremony of the University of Guyana, Mr LaRocque noted that the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas provides for the free movement of skilled Community nationals and the first category identified was that of university graduates.

“That’s why,” he said, “the Community remains dedicated to achieving the objectives of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, notably the free movement of skilled people, providers of services, the self-employed and those establishing businesses.”

Conscious of prevailing cynicism, Mr LaRocque nevertheless admitted to being “acutely aware” of the difficulties still being experienced at ports of entry in some of our member states by those who seek to exercise their rights to hassle-free, intraregional movement.

He explained that there were categories of eligible citizens who also had the right to work and live in any participating state, in addition to those eligible to the “right of an automatic stay of six months – subject only to circumscribed exceptions”.

He pointed to new educational initiatives soon to be announced to better inform CARICOM citizens on their rights in relation to free intraregional movement. These would include online access of CARICOM skills certificates – currently a recurring problem – in order to seek professional opportunities.

LaRocque said that some 14 000 such certificates had already been issued to Community nationals. And, without attempting to minimise or rationalise problems being encountered by nationals at some ports of entry, he observed that it should also be appreciated that with respect to hassle-free travel, “the vast majority of persons travel throughout our region every day without problems”.

We look forward to the unfolding of Mr LaRocque’s promised new initiatives to sensitise Community nationals on their rights to free intra-regional travel without the recurring examples of unnecessary hassle, and worse, at some ports of entry.

Rickey Singh is a noted Caribbean journalist.

For more on this story go to: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/59508/caribbean-hopes-dawn-free-movement#sthash.qYuPczAt.dpuf

 

 

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