(Trinidad Guardian) While West Indies cricketers Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin were held up from joining the West Indies cricket team in England, awaiting an English visa, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) was told the situation is under control and their assistance was not needed at the point in time.
This according to a source close to the players association, who said the players body was not informed of the situation by the WICB. “The president of WIPA Wavell Hinds and the CEO Michael Hall were at the Jamaica Pegasus dealing with WIPA business, when Hinds ran into the players and enquired what were they doing in Jamaica. WIPA was then informed that they had no visas and were waiting one from the British Home Office.” Samuels got his visa and flew into London yesterday, while Deonarine and Fudadin are still not with the team and may not be there in time to get a game in the final tour match against the England Lions, prior to the opening Test at Lord’s.
The official continued: “When Hall tried to assist with obtaining the visas, he was told the situation was under control but the players were still in Jamaica days after. This is very disappointing indeed because the players association has before assisted with arrangements to get visas in a timely manner for the West Indies players.
“A couple years ago, former WIPA official Monique Ragbir had to fly to Jamaica to assist the players in obtaining visas for South Africa. WIPA’s CEO Hall has contacts that can assist with the visas but his help was not needed. When the team for England was finalised, the WICB had 10 days to get visas for the players and still did not act in a timely manner.” The official cited Chris Gayle as an example of how things can get done quickly. “Last season, when Chris Gayle was needed as a replacement for Dirk Nanness in the Indian Premier League, the efforts of Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya and WIPA were able to get him a visa on a Saturday from the Indian High Commission in Jamaica. They opened their offices on the Saturday for him and he was able to fly on the Sunday to India.” The source continued: “It seems as if the WICB has no contacts to assist the players with their visa and what is even more disappointing is the fact that they don’t even want any help.”