KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica Cricket Association has slammed the West Indies Cricket Board over what it terms “unjustified and disrespectful” criticisms levelled at Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.
In an address at the JCA awards and ceremony last weekend, Simpson-Miller said she was disappointed Jamaica had not been given a Test during Australia’s tour of the Caribbean starting next month.
The WICB hit back on Monday, accusing the JCA of not apprising Simpson-Miller of the facts surrounding the scheduling of the tour, contending that “relevant officials in Jamaica did not, or did not properly, brief the newly-elected Prime Minister”.
However, the JCA on Tuesday blasted the WICB’s response, and has called on president Julian Hunte to say whether he sanctioned the release.
“The Jamaica Cricket Association wishes to state its complete rejection and condemnation of the unjustified and disrespectful criticisms levelled by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) against Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller for remarks made by her at the recently held annual awards function of the JCA,” the JCA said.
“As a shareholder, the JCA finds it inexcusable that the WICB in their press release of February 20, 2011, could have made such a statement without consulting any of the WICB members in Jamaica, including the Vice President of the WICB Mr. Dave Cameron, along with Mr Lyndel Wright and Mr. Milton Henry who are Jamaica’s two representatives on the WICB.
“The JCA calls upon the President of the WICB Dr. Julian Hunte to publicly state which of the Board members were consulted before the release was sent out. The JCA further calls upon the President to state whether or not he sanctioned or sanctions the statement.”
Australia will tour from March 16 to April 27 but will only play Tests in Barbados, Trinidad and Dominica while three of the five One-Day Internationals will be played in St Vincent with the remaining two in St Lucia.
In its response, the WICB said Jamaica was never a consideration to host a Test because of “scheduling and weather”.
“Had this (JCA briefed
Simpson-Miller) been done the Honourable Prime Minister would have been informed that the West Indies vs Australia tour was, for reasons pertaining to scheduling and weather, always slated to be played in the Southern Caribbean,” the WICB said.
“The West Indies v New Zealand tour is slated to be played in the months of, July and August in the northern Caribbean at a time, during the hurricane season, when that part of the region is less prone to adverse weather conditions.
“Therefore, Jamaica was never a consideration for the Australia tour but would feature as a host venue for the New Zealand tour.”
The JCA said, however, that it shared Simpson-Miller’s disappointment about missing out on hosting the Australians but expressed surprise that Jamaica would feature as a venue for the New Zealand series.
“The Prime Minister also expressed her concern that no official decision had been taken for Jamaica to be used as a venue during the upcoming tour by New Zealand. We maintain that the Prime Minister was correct,” the JCA said.
“The WICB’s revelation in its news release that Jamaica ‘would feature as a host venue for the New Zealand tour’ while being most welcomed, came as news to the JCA.”
Sabina Park has hosted Tests during the March/April period in the recent past, however, with West Indies beating Australia there by 10 wickets in 1999 and also defeating Zimbabwe and South Africa, and losing to England between 2001 and 2004.
The venue remains the scene of one their most thrilling victories in recent times when they mowed down England by an innings and 23 runs inside four days three years ago.