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March 11, 2008
The sixth round of the Carib Beer Series is facing disruption following a threat from the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) to withdraw the services of its members for the remainder of the competition.
Problems arose when two umpires - Bruce Hayden and Kaso Dowlath, both from Trinidad - were replaced by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) even through they had been approved by the umpires' sub-committee.
"The WICUA is very much dissatisfied with the manner in which two of our members were disenfranchised and removed from the panel of umpires for the first-class cricket season this year," Billy Doctrove, WICUA's area vice-president with responsibilities for the Windward Islands, explained. "We are of the opinion that the two umpires were victimised by the relevant authorities in Trinidad and Tobago.
"Both the umpires sub-committee and the WICUA stated quite clearly to the WICB that the two umpires had to be reinstated on the panel. But for some strange reason, the WICB took a unilateral decision after speaking to somebody in authority in the Trinidad and Tobago board.
"We are extremely unhappy with the turn of events and as a result, we have decided to withdraw our services for the remainder of the competition until the two umpires are reinstated.
"The removal of the umpires from the panel is unjustified since they performed very well last year. Their performances for last year were rated highly by the captains. We know that they were removed from the panel because they were on the 'other side' of the rift which currently exists within the umpiring fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago. We are saying that this kind of treatment is unfair and uncalled for. As a body, we are standing in solidarity with our colleagues.
"This is a decision that we have thought through for very long and we are all united in our stance. We have spoken to all the umpires and we are confident that no matches will be played this weekend in Jamaica, St Thomas and in Barbados."
Doctrove concluded by saying that he hoped common sense prevailed and that the WICB reversed its decision.
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