Thursday, 02 February 2012 02:30
By West Indies Players' Association
Antigua St John's - The West Indies Players' Association has released the following statement in response to the statements contained in an article published in the Kaieteur News on January 25 titled:
"Guyana cricketers threatened with ICC ban - Sanjeev Datadin (the ‘Article’). It said this move came, "OUT of abundance of concern for players’ welfare, to ensure the proper dissemination of accurate information, and to reaffirm its commitment to comply with applicable laws, regulations and rules governing the sport of cricket, the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) has issued this statement in response the statements contained in an article published in the Kaieteur News dated January 25, 2012 titled:
Guyana cricketers threatened with ICC ban - Sanjeev Datadin (the ‘Article’)." It said:
The statements contained in this Article, as we understand it, were made by one Sanjeev Datadin in response to the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and the defunct Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), both inviting players to participate in training the upcoming Regional Four-day tournament.
The Article states that Mr Datadin, one of the attorneys for the defunct Guyana Cricket Board said:
“Should the players turn up for matches scheduled by the IMC they run the risk of being banned from all international cricket. He said that the International Cricket Council is quite clear that the recognised cricketing authorities are those aligned to the respective boards.”
The Article also reports that Mr Datadin apparently stated:
“that so far, the players should recognise the sanctions likely to be imposed by the international cricketing body. He (Datadin) recalled the case involving New Zealand’s fast bowler Shane Bond and Brian Lara who played in an unauthorised tournament and were banned. Lara had already retired but Shane Bond saw his cricketing career come to an abrupt end.”
The Article adds further that Mr Datadin stated,
“The same fate awaits all those who respond to the IMC’s call to participate in matches organised by the Interim Management Committee.”
WIPA is alarmed by the statements allegedly made by Mr Datadin on behalf of the GCB. Simply put, not only are the above referenced, alleged statements without any proper basis whatsoever, and are grossly inaccurate as a matter of law and fact, and clearly, if made, do nothing purposeful expect to intentionally damage player welfare.
Accordingly, in response to the Article, WIPA states as follows:
Firstly, the defunct GCB has been declared by the Chief Justice of Guyana to be a legal non-entity, not having the capacity to sue or be sued.
Accordingly, without the protection and structure of a corporate veil, the unincorporated GCB cannot afford the affected players any safeguards whatsoever.
Moreover, on Thursday January 26, 2012, an article published by the Kaieteur News confirmed that the full sitting of the High Court in Guyana, presided over by Justice James Bovell-Drakes and Justice William Ramlal, dismissed the GCB’s application to quash the decision of December 23, 2011 that granted Dr Frank Anthony, the Honourable Minister of Sport of Guyana, the power to appoint an IMC in place of the GBC.
The Judges, in handing down their decision, informed the GCB representatives, including attorneys Sanjeev Datadin and Fenton Ramsahoye, that following this final ruling before the Full Court they would not be allowed to challenge again.
Accordingly, at this juncture, it is clear that the rule of law has been observed in Guyana, and in so doing, all parties concerned must respect the multiple decisions of the court.
Anything less would not only amount to blind and purposeless defiance of the law, but more importantly, an intentional stampede to trample on the rights of innocent players.
Certainly, any objections can be made quietly and behind closed doors, and in the interim a short-term compromise can be worked out, even if it involves self-sacrifice to allow players to play under the governance of the legal body.
Secondly, WIPA unequivocally states that interpretation of the rules of the ICC as well as the thinly veiled threats contained in the Article that purports to quote Mr. Datadin is mischievous and a misrepresentation of the applicable rules.
WIPA views this purposeful act as intended solely to cause fear in the minds of the players in a desperate attempt to force them to support the defunct and currently illegal Guyana Cricket Board.
Moreover, Mr Datadin also is quoted as allegedly saying that Lara and Shane Bond were banned for playing in an unauthorised tournament. This is simply not true.
In fact, this statement is defamatory and another intentional misrepresentation of the facts that is intended to bring the good name of the goodly gentlemen into disrepute for personal gain.
Furthermore, WIPA is deeply concerned about the alleged statement from Mr Datadin that “The same fate awaits all those who respond to the IMC’s call to participate in matches organised by the Interim Management Committee.”
This can only be construed as an express threat to the players and the governance of cricket.
In light of the foregoing, WIPA seeks an immediate answer to the following:
1. If the statements contained in the Article are true, on whose behalf is Mr. Datadin speaking?
2. Is Mr Datadin speaking on behalf of the ICC with their express permission? Certainly, he should share with the public his basis for making the alleged statements contained in the Article.
3. While Mr Datadin is quoted as representing, and has in the past represented the GCB, he is going one step further by making representation and giving his interpretation of the ICC rules with some authority.
WIPA questions whether Mr Datadin has authority to make representation on behalf of the International Cricket Council on this matter.
WIPA believes that the current approach employed by GCB’s lawyers is nothing more than a coarse bullying tactic that is entirely without substance which is consistent with past practice.
For example, WIPA notes that Mr. Datadin and Mr. Ramsahoye have been involved in several legal matters of interest to us, none of which has any basis in law in fact.
In one such matter, commenced by the defunct GCB against WIPA in September, 2010, some eighteen months ago, to date Mr Datadin and Mr Ramsahoye have failed to satisfy the basic requirement of commencing an action, and have not filed statement of claim in the matter.
Secondly, in August 2005, in a highly publicised split, Mr Datadin’s services were previously terminated by Mr Ramnaresh Sarwan and Mr Chris Gayle, because he acted without instruction.
Most recently, on January 25, 2012, Justice Jennifer Remy of the Antigua High Court, in deciding a matter against Mr Datadin’s client, apparently criticised the submissions put forward by Sanjeev Datadin, in a matter before the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission.
Justice Remy said Mr Datadin’s arguments lacked merit, logic and deviated from logic and reason.
The High Court judge also said that Datadin’s reasoning was illogical and inconsistent. WIPA shares Justice Remy’s view.
Simply, WIPA is concerned for the welfare of its players and is wary of the advice being thrust upon them by the GCB’s attorneys, especially given the history. WIPA is ever wary of persons who appear to be seeking their own self-promotion to the detriment of the game of cricket.