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WIPA Players Want Clean Slate
by Marcus Bethel
Jul 17, 2007
In spite of all the recent rifts between the West Indies Cricket Board, the West Indies Players Association and the players themselves, it is only fair to assume that given the current situation, our cricketers have earned their right to speak out and in doing so in their recent letter addressed to WIPA president and CEO Dinanath Ramnarine, they deserved to be heard.

In labeling the players “incompetent” while on recent tour in England, newly appointed CEO Bruce Aanensen has not only deepened the divide between the players and the representative Board, which, has shown in recent times to be less than competent. “We are now left with the rather difficult situation of determining whether as players we should be able to continue working with Mr. Aanensen,” the players wrote.

Having been on the job for less than three months, Aanensen, whose job is to heal the existing wounds that has been inhibiting proper dialogue and relations, has not only failed to bandage the wounds, but has added peppered salt when the blood has not even coagulated. In so doing, he has not only failed in his capacity but also ignited unfavorable regards for himself as the players call for his resignation. In showing no reprimand for his action, Aanensen represent more of a problem than a solution to the ongoing crisis.

In having won the One Day series against England and having established their dominance in Ireland, the West Indies Team under Chris Gayle has proven their critics wrong. Playing under dark hovering clouds, our boys have done well and deserve to be recognized for their efforts. It is not only the results that needs to commended, but the camaraderie that existed within the camp – something that was absent in recent times, now attributed to the disputed captain Chris Gayle.

With a dozen arrows pointing to the WICB, it is time we showed some solidarity to our boys and the association which so represents them. Seeing outgoing president Ken Gordon has only 12 days before presenting the helms to Julian Hunte, and in the team being critical of Aanensen’s presence in the executive body, we need to pledge our support to the players and WIPA in requesting a “clean slate” to proceed. Now that our players have found the confidence in themselves as winners, they deserve a board they can have confidence in as well. After all, this is cricket and if the attack is not doing the job requested, we have to change.

In citing the issues listed in Ramnarine’s letter to Ken Gordon:

Recent examples of such negative management style are as follows:

1. Indicating to the public that the Board had submitted all relevant documents to the Arbitration Panel re the Future Tour Programme when, indeed, it had not done so.

2. Issuing misleading statements regarding Caricom's official position on the Zimbabwe tour.

3. Displaying little tact as a CEO in publicly criticizing the players as "incompetent" while they were in the middle of a tour.

4. Causing much embarrassment in not ensuring that replacement players arrived in time for the commencement of the ODI series in England.

5. Flouting the MOU regarding the need for prior consultation and agreement with WIPA with respect to the tour to Zimbabwe and the proposed dates for the upcoming first class regional tournament. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, WIPA had to learn about both these scheduling arrangements in the media.

6. Failure to consult and agree with WIPA in determining 'Team Policy" which the WICB is required to do under the terms of our agreement.

7. Seemingly insufficient understanding of the Agreements signed and the issues involved, resulting in the recent lengthy and costly arbitration exercise.

8. Leaks to the media by Board sources which I have discussed with you previously, that caused embarrassment to WIPA and the players (e.g. captaincy issue re Ganga/Gayle).

9. Making uncomplimentary remarks to the media about me as President and CEO of WIPA.

10. Apparent reluctance to meet with me as President and CEO of WIPA in spite of at least three requests made by me. We have met only once through my initiative, and this was prior to his assumption of duty as CEO.

11. On the only occasion I spoke to Mr. Aanensen on the telephone, he hung up the phone on me and when I called him back he ended up again hanging up on me. I regarded this as the height of discourtesy, and

12. We continue to receive feedback from talk show hosts throughout the region, regarding public opinion about Mr. Aanansen's negative management style.

We can only call it a “Full Monte” or more appropriately a “Full Dozen.”

In response, outgoing president Ken Gordon besides admitting his inability in forming a much needed viable relationship between the WICB and the WIPA has yet to assume responsibility for recent actions, instead accusing Ramnarine of “publicly denigrat[ing] the WICB Board, its Officers and Executive at every opportunity.”

Well, firm leadership I can see in Ken Gordon holding firm to his position even on his way out but unfortunately, if this is his idea of “tough love” I can only firmly join the players and WIPA in saying, tough luck! We don’t need it!

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