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posted 29 Sept 2015, 19:19 by Gerry Kangalee

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following media statement  dated September 29th.

 The Communication Worker's Union, CWU, would like to publicly chastise the West Indies Cricket Board, WICB, for deliberately creating the current chaotic and insular state of Cricket in the Region. It is quite disgusting and vexatious to witness this current debacle with respect to the Suspension of the Coach of the Senior West Indies Cricket Team, Phil Simmons for what is alleged to be his open and frank articulation on the flawed and discriminatory process used for selecting the Best Cricket Team to represent the region. What is even more disturbing is the appointment of Selector, Eldine Baptiste to replace Mr. Simmons immediately after he was served with his suspension notice. 

The CWU has taken note of the facts as outlined by Phil Simmons which reveals that the initiative was taken by himself and the Chief Selector, Clive Lloyd to engage in rapprochement efforts with discarded Cricketers, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, with the aim of having them back into the fold of the West Indies Team. It was also revealed that this initiative also found favour with the current Captain, Jason Holder and as such, there was an optimistic expectation that these world class players would have been included in the Team for the upcoming Tour to Sri Lanka due to the strong and realistic support by the Coach, the Chief Selector and the Captain. What transpired subsequently indicates that the other three (3) selectors, Messer's Courtney Walsh, Courtney Brown and Eldine Baptiste, voted against the inclusion of these players based on the fact that although the Captain is involved in the selection process, he does not have voting powers. Phil Simmons, quite bravely spoke out against what he views as external interference in the selection process and that led to his suspension.

The CWU views this suspension as draconian and reeks of parochialism and insularity. It is quite clear that Messer's Bravo and Pollard are being victimised for standing up for their rights as employees of the Board during the ill fated tour of India. It is apparent that the President of the Board has taken offence to the fact that these players had the testicular fortitude to challenge the Board for attempting to enforce inferior terms and conditions of employment on the players, terms and conditions that are way below the accepted international benchmark for such players. This has now resulted in those players apparently being placed on Mr. Cameron's Black list and he has now used his influence on the other selectors to discriminate against Messer's Bravo and Simmons.

What has made this development even more frightening is the immediate appointment of Eldine Baptiste to serve as Coach of the Team for the Sri Lanka Tour. This is the same Eldine Baptiste who voted against Phil Simmons, the Chief Selector and the Captain; this is the same Eldine Baptiste who recently applied for the Job of Coach of the West Indies Senior Team for which Phil Simmons was successful. Everything surrounding this issue smells foul and needs public condemnation.

The CWU has always championed the cause of West Indies Cricket and has supported the unifying effect that it has on the Caribbean Region. Together with the Co-operative Credit Union Movement, Cricket is the other Institution that has been the glue that has kept Caribbean People together. Over the years, despite the failure of CARICOM and other Regional Institutions, the Co-operative Credit Union Movement and West Indies Cricket have been the flag bearers for Regional Unity, in the face of petty insularity and big and small Island Politics which have plagued the deepening of true Regional Unity.

The CWU is demanding the immediate reinstatement of Phil Simmons to his rightful position of Coach of the Senior West Indies Cricket Team, and calls on Regional Leaders to immediately convene a forum with the WICB to rescue West Indies Cricket from the demise and the abyss that Messer's Cameron and his band of disingenuous administrators are taking this noble Caribbean Tradition. We are also calling on our newly elected Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley, to make an intervention into this matter since three (3) of the key players in this current debacle are Trinidad and Tobago Nationals.

We all need to stand together in defence of West Indies Cricket.