The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has taken objection to a report that appeared in my column last Sunday concerning a letter it wrote to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on Kieron Pollard’s selection for the home series against Zimbabwe in February.
The WIPA “laments” that I did not contact it “to clarify the information despite the fact that WIPA’s doors and phone lines are open to all who wish to obtain information and despite WIPA’s requests in the past to Mr Cozier to be afforded an opportunity to present its position so that reports are balanced and fair.”
I no longer venture to contact the WIPA since I was harangued verbally and at length by its president and chief executive on the telephone during a Test match in Jamaica two years ago.
I realised then that Dinanath Ramnarine considers reports “balanced and fair” only when they agree with his point of view.
The WIPA refutes the assertion in my column that it “reportedly” stated in its letter that its lawyers, acting on behalf of Pollard, would sue for the loss of a portion of the players’ earnings of his contract with the Indian Premier League (IPL) caused by his inclusion in the West Indies team.
It calls on me to release the contents of its letter to the WICB “from which his information is said to be derived and which he purportedly has in his possession.”
Since my report was based on information from usually dependable sources whom I trust, and that I have never had its letter in my possession, it would be helpful if the WIPA itself released it to back its position. Indeed, my sources have since indicated that the WIPA submitted more than one letter on the issue so it might want to publish them all.
It is instructive that, in “clearing the air,” it revealed that it has informed the WICB that it is “awaiting the opinion of its legal advisers and will revert to it on this issue when it receives that opinion.”
The thrust of last Sunday’s column was Julian Hunte’s initial worry over the potential impact of the IPL on West Indies cricket. I wrote that it is “a sign of the times should any player seek to place his commitment to a foreign domestic team, however lucrative, above that to the West Indies.”
It is, of course, the individual player’s choice and it was heartening to learn that Pollard subsequently committed himself fully to the Zimbabwe series before leaving for the IPL where he has had such an effect on the Mumbai Indians’ place in today’s final.