(WIPA) The Board of Directors of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has made it clear that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has gone too far. Speaking on behalf of WIPA, Director Michael Hall said flatly, “The WICB cannot tell us who should represent the players at meetings with the WICB. It is very interesting that this comes at this time with so many upcoming Arbitration matters and the very important negotiation for a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandum Of Understanding.”
The WIPA Director explained, “Mr. Ramnarine already has a matter in court with the WICB for libelling him, which is now under the aegis of the High Court. Yet, despite this, the WICB’s CEO accused Mr. Ramnarine last week of trying to siphon money due to players to another account. WIPA representatives at the meeting were told by Mr. Hilaire that he could substantiate his allegation by providing an email exchange between himself and Mr Ramnarine. Mr. Hilaire was asked to produce the said email at the meeting and was even given further time to produce it. To date we have not seen this email exchange or any other proof. However, Mr. Ramnarine has submitted the email exchanges that he had with Mr. Hilaire on the subject in question and there is no such evidence to substantiate the defamatory statements made by Mr. Hilaire. In actual fact, Mr. Ramnarine was not the only person at the meeting to raise his voice and at one point it was he who had to ask the WICB CEO to calm down.”
The WIPA Board has received separate independent reports from Mr. Gayle and Mr. Hinds who were both present at the meeting, which corroborate WIPA’s initial statement regarding the meeting.
In fact, this is just the latest in what would appear to be attempts to cause mischief between the WIPA Board members and Mr. Ramnarine. One such attempt was the incident that took place at Kensington Oval in 2010, where Mr. Ramnarine was embarrassingly and unnecessarily removed by two Barbados Policemen from the players area after being invited by the Trinidad and Tobago Manager, and which the WICB had promised to investigate and report on. To date there has been no response from either Mr. Hunte or Mr. Hilaire as promised. A similar incident also took place in Trinidad and Tobago, again no response from WICB as promised.
The Board of Directors of WIPA is satisfied with the report it has received from its representatives and members at the June 14 meeting with the WICB officials, and Mr. Ramnarine has indicated to the WIPA Board that he will be taking legal action against Mr. Hilaire and it fully supports this decision. In terms of its representation at meetings with the WICB’s negotiating team, WIPA will not be making any changes to its negotiating teams at these meetings.