WICB bury the hatchet, to pay Sarwan $1.6 mn

The West Indies Cricket Board has decided to put the past behind them, and decided not to appeal against Arbitrator Seenath Jairam's decision to award $1.6 million to captain Ramnaresh Sarwan in damages, for allegedly making comments over his fitness and attitude.

A report in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday says the Board had enough reason to appeal against the decision, but did not want to have any sustained legal battles with their players.

Reuters

On their official Facebook page, the WICB stated, "The WICB recognised that there were grounds for appeal of the Ramnaresh Sarwan arbitration ruling in what the WICB had been advised is a highly flawed ruling by the Arbitrator. However, the Board wished to bring closure to the issue and has settled in accordance with the decision of the Arbitrator."

Sarwan had lodged an appeal against the WICB in March last year for unfairly questioning his fitness and attitude in public. He argued that this cost him a central contract for the 2010-11 season and damaged his "reputation as a professional cricketer" and "sullied his career as an international cricketer."

The whole issue flared up when WICB Chief Executive Ernest Hilaire communicated to Sarwan that they had reviewed their series in Australia and were concerned about his "attitude and approach to fitness and physical preparation."

The report also says that the cricketing body stressed that Hilaire or any officer of the Board did not instruct any selector on any course of action relating to selection of the West Indies team.

They said that the Selection Committee only considered opinions from the WICB Medical Panel and Team Physiotherapist and it was a Fitness Report of 11 March, 2010, that stated Sarwan was not fit for selection.

The WICB pointed out that there seemed to be "the deliberate circulation, by a not unknown party who continues to pursue an agenda of personal relevance, of information pertaining to matters which have been settled. It can only serve to continue a familiar pattern of discontent and discord which is readily identifiable with a certain modus operandi."

They also complained that when the matter went to arbitration "Sarwan presented his version of the events as his evidence to the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator did not allow WICB Counsel to cross-examine Sarwan on these matters nor did the Arbitrator seek to find any evidence of the claims made by Sarwan."

"The Arbitrator simply accepted WIPA’s and Sarwan’s version of evidence as true despite emails and letters which could have been provided to show contrary to the claims," the board said.

Read the full Newsday report here.