West Indies news June 20, 2011

WICB cuts contact with Ramnarine, WIPA backs chief

ESPNcricinfo staff

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has decided to snap contact with the president of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) Dinanath Ramnarine due to what it claims was his "threatening action" against board CEO Ernest Hilaire and "unprofessional behaviour" during a meeting arranged to resolve the problem over Chris Gayle's non-selection.

WIPA has responded by expressing their confidence in Ramnarine and demanding Hilaire apologise for what they claim are defamatory remarks about Ramnarine. Both bodies, though, said they will continue to deal with each other over issues concerning players.

"The WICB will continue to treat WIPA, the representative body of the players, with the highest degree of respect and as a principal partner in West Indies cricket and will continue to engage WIPA on matters pertaining to West Indian players," a release issued by the WICB, following a meeting of its board of directors, stated. "However, given Mr. Dinanath Ramnarine's threatening action towards the WICB Chief Executive Officer and the unprofessional conduct of Mr. Ramnarine during a recent meeting on June 14 2011, the Board will no longer engage with Mr. Ramnarine on any issue unless there is a change in his behaviour and conduct."

In response, WIPA issued their own release, slamming what they claim are "street tactics" from the WICB in attempting to construe fervent negotiations as something more. "The WIPA board wishes to make clear that it has complete confidence in its President and CEO Mr. Dinanath Ramnarine who continues to have full authority to represent WIPA in all matters," the WIPA release said. "WIPA fully expects that there will be no difficulty with the WICB dealing with any WIPA personnel since WIPA is prepared to deal with any WICB representatives and does deal with any WICB representatives even when WIPA considers that representative a bad choice whose conduct is unbecoming and expects reciprocity from the WICB."

Tempers, reportedly, flared during the meeting between the two parties, in which Gayle - who has been asked to retract statements he made in a radio interview in April - was also present. A WICB source alleged Ramnarine had lifted his chair and threatened to assault Hilaire. WIPA admitted to there being verbal disagreements and that Ramnarine had got out of his chair at one point, but claimed he had neither lifted the chair nor tried to hit Hilaire. In their release on June 20, they have expressed concern that no proceedings have been brought against Hilaire by the WICB for his behaviour during the meeting.

The meeting, whose details were leaked to the media, proved inconclusive and Gayle wasn't picked for the first Test in Jamaica. However, in its release, the WICB said it "continue efforts to resolve the issues with Mr. Gayle".

Some progress appears to have been made in the board's interaction with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had slammed the West Indies management in a radio interview prior to the Test series against Pakistan. The WICB met with Chanderpaul ahead of the first Test against India in Kingston "in what was a fruitful and productive meeting regarding his future involvement in West Indies cricket".

In the case of Sulieman Benn, who hasn't been considered for selection due to unfavourable reports from the management about his behaviour during the World Cup, the board said "it will continue to engage Mr. Sulieman Benn in an attempt to resolve issues relating to his discipline and behaviour".

Among other decisions, the board scheduled the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament in Trinidad and Barbados between January 9 and 22 next year, and re-branded its 50-over competition as 'Regional Super50". It will be held in Guyana, though the dates are still to be decided.