West Indies bows to Leewards match threat

(Trinidad Guardian) A timely intervention by Cricket West Indies (CWI) saved the Eighth round match of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Digicel PCL tournament, between T&T Red Force and the Leewards Hurricanes.

The visitors threatened to not take the field in protest of not being satisfied with conditions at the Cascadia Hotel in St. Anns where the team is housed. The Leewards through manager Wilden Cornwall wrote the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) owners of the T&T Red Force franchise complaining about the accommodations at the hotel.

Guardian Media Sports were reliably informed through emails discussions between officials of CWI, the TTCB and manager Cornwall of the visitors. However, at the last moment, the game was saved as CWI decided to pay for new accommodation elsewhere.

Joset Jacobs, the Project Officer II at CWI had written to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the TTCB, Suruj Ragoonath before the Leewards arrived earlier in the week for the match requesting a change of accommodation. According to Jacobs, “Cascadia Hotel is noted as the accommodation for Round eight however, this is disappointing having received numerous complaints about this (Cascadia) Hotel, as recent as this season Round three. In this regard, we hoped that consideration would have been taken by the TTCB to sort/negotiate an alternate hotel, hence my email sent thereafter, as a follow up on December 12, 2017 (on this thread) seeking an update on the accommodation for your last host round (Round 8) a hotel in place of Cascadia Hotel; at which time you indicated a decision was not made as yet. We were made aware of the Windwards issues there in Round three that reached WIPA. Similarly, last season as you should be aware of the complaints of the teams that stayed there, this also resulted in one team moving after the first night’s stay.”

On arrival at the hotel on Tuesday, Cornwall then wrote to the Leewards board the next day saying, “We arrived in Trinidad yesterday but regrettably I am not happy with the conditions of the Cascadia Hotel. The overall condition of the hotel is not welcoming, the food is not palatable, the water is rusty. I am sure that you will understand the challenges and make every effort to relocate the team to another hotel. In this way it will create a win-win situation for all.”

Meanwhile, president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath responded to the situation saying, “From before, and since the arrival of the Leeward Islands team, the TTCB and the Hotel have been doing everything within our power to ensure the comfort of the team. The hotel has worked with the Team Manager to allay any concerns that he might have but Mr. Cornwall seems bent on a certain course of action (seemingly even before arrival).

Bassarath then highlighted the following:

FOOD NOT PALATABLE

* Even though the team arrived at the hotel around 4.00 pm and dinner was soon to be provided, the Manager asked for a meal for the players which was provided for which he said they were satisfied.

* Dinner was a combination of Pasta dishes but the Manager insisted that Rice is to be provided for All members of his party. This was immediately done by the hotel but ONLY the Manager ate rice ALL others had the pasta. Again no complaints.

* This morning an early Lunch was requested by the team and again All ate at the Hotel at 11 am with no complaints.

* The T&T Team also stays at the same hotel and others have stayed including Match Officials. Match officials have actually complimented the TTCB and hotel authorities for the hospitality, and meals at the hotel.

WATER

* The issue with the Rusty water is endemic to the area and occurs after heavy rainfall. This appearance returns to normal after about 20 to 30 seconds.

RELOCATION

* No notification has been made to TTCB of moving to another hotel. If done, it would be at their (team) own expense.

* We have informed the Manager that the TTCB and hotel will do everything within its power to ensure that the two teams are comfortable.

* We have been informed that the team was seen in the lobby of the hotel with their luggage this morning. The manager has been informed that no alternate accommodation has been made by TTCB, if the team is relocating it would be for the Leeward Islands Association’s account, the cost of transporting their luggage would also be for their expense.

* The Leewards then threatened to boycott the match and CWI agreed that they will pay for their new accommodation despite the fact that this was supposed to be the responsibility of the local franchise.

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