Ramnarine chides TTCB for statement on players

Former West Indies Players Association president and current Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board club representative Dinanath Ramnarine called the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board’s condemnation of the West Indies players’ withdrawal of the India tour “inappropriate, unfair, highly prejudicial and premature” given the WICB’s formation of a task force to deal with the issue.

Ramnarine also called the statement a cheap “PR and political gimmick” given its timing before the task force has been formed and the findings revealed.

Yesterday the TTCB issued a media release, emanating from Saturday’s 58th AGM, stating that they “condemned, in the strongest possible manner, the recent actions of the West Indian cricketers who aborted their cricket tour of India.”

But Ramnarine objected to the motion to censure the WI players moved by former sports minister and TTCB nominated member Manohar Ramsaran and seconded by Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL) representative Surujdath Mahabir, claiming it was premature.

Contacted by the Daily Express yesterday, Ramnarine said the TTCB was contradicting the stance of the WICB who announced its intention, after its emergency Board meeting in Barbados last Tuesday, to appoint a task force to deal with the issue.

“My position is, I indicated after Ramsaran read out a prepared statement that I can’t support any condemnation of any one side--either the players, the WIPA or the WICB—having regard to the fact the WICB in their meeting, at which two of the TTCB directors including president Azim Bassarath and Baldath Mahabir participated in, voted to have a task force to investigate all matters involving the India series,” Ramnarine said.

Ramnarine said that at the AGM, he also asked if the two TTCB directors agreed

with the WICB’s task force suggestion, because when he asked if the WICB bore any responsibility for the degeneration of the situation that led to the pull out, neither Baldath nor Bassarath responded.

“So at this juncture, this seems like a cheap PR and political gimmick, since the task force is the body charged to find the real truth,” he said

On Saturday, Ramsaran read out the motion: “While our board recognises the rights of the players, we feel that the decision to abruptly end the tour has brought collective shame to the people of the Caribbean while also bringing the game into disrepute. We acknowledge that the stain of this action will be difficult to erase and our board pledges its full support to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in its efforts to mitigate the myriad negative repercussions that will emanate from same.”

The motion was supported by all the delegates except Ramnarine, the TTCB release said.

Meanwhile the WICB, WIPA and representatives of the WI squad for the aborted tour of India held an emergency meeting on Sunday evening at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

“The meeting was cordial, positive and fruitful and discussions will continue in an effort to find a way forward following the premature end of the tour of India,” a WICB release said.

The WICB was represented by president Dave Cameron, director Don Wehby and attorney Luke Hamel-Smith; WIPA by president and CEO Wavell Hinds, WIPA secretary Wayne Lewis and attorney Patrick Foster QC; and the players (with the exception of Marlon Samuels) by attorney Ralph Thorne QC, who also represented the interests of Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine and Lendl Simmons. Also in attendance were players Andre Russell and Jason Holder.