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WICB sets record straight on Sarwan’s fitness

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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St John’s, Antigua – The WICB notes the misinformation contained in the WIPA release of Monday September 13th relating to Mr. Ramnaresh Sarwan not being offered a retainer contract for the upcoming contract year.
The WICB presents the facts in setting the record straight.
WIPA misinformation: The diagnosis by the team’s physiotherapist was that he (Sarwan) was suffering from back spasms and he was treated for back spasms. This treatment did not bring any relief to Mr. Sarwan who thereafter insisted on being seen by a doctor. Mr. Sarwan was eventually sent to a doctor who recommended a particular injection and a CT scan. The former treatment regime was then changed and Mr Sarwan felt slightly better although still suffering from pain and discomfort, Mr. Sarwan played the second test.
The FACTS: The actual initial diagnosis given to Ramnaresh was a likely disc sprain, with associated muscular spasms and possible nerve root entrapment. Team Management arrangements ensured that Ramnaresh was reviewed almost immediately at the ground when the injury occurred by a renowned Sports Medicine Specialist, as well as more detailed examinations during the first days of the First Test match at Brisbane. After exhaustive consultation among the specialists a programme of treatment was agreed upon.
WIPA misinformation: The pain arising from the injury got worse during the third test, but Mr. Sarwan’s request for an MRI was refused by the team management because of the WICB’s refusal to pay for this service. Mr. Sarwan insisted on having the MRI done even though it meant having to pay for it from his own pocket, even though he was still a member of the team to Australia. Cricket Australia eventually paid for the MRI.
The pain exacerbation prior to the 3rd Test was caused by the flight from Adelaide to Perth, where as is common, he had an increase in pain due to prolonged air travel.
Sarwan was informed of the clinical reasoning of the Sports Medicine & Radiology Specialist’s management during the 2nd Test, where he was told further investigations would not add anything to the current diagnosis.
Ongoing treatment did alleviate some of the symptoms, but as mentioned earlier he was never going to be playing without pain, something he was instructed about in Adelaide.
At no time was Sarwan refused an MRI scan. 
At no time did the WICB refuse to pay for any scan.
The WICB and Cricket Australia arranged – prior to the tour – that all medical costs and expenses would have been paid for by Cricket Australia, with later reimbursement from the WICB. This is a usual arrangement between cricketing nations when tours are agreed upon.
For WIPA to assert that the Team Management refused to pay for an MRI scan for Ramnaresh is wholly inaccurate, disingenuous and a clear attempt at feeding the public false information in an attempt to mislead. Further it is not a practice for a player to decide what and when he needs particular treatment or assessment.
WIPA misinformation: Following the tour, and at his own expense, he (Sarwan) proceeded to Florida for treatment after which he was then able to play cricket again.
The FACTS: Ramnaresh, a contracted player, was offered treatment in Guyana as per WICB policy, but he declined without explanation.
WIPA misinformation: Between these series Mr Sarwan participated in a 10-day optional camp and received kudos, reported in the media, from Coach Gibson for his level of commitment in all areas of training.
The FACTS: Ramnaresh did indeed participate well in this training camp as again it was highly organised and supervised. He showed slight improvement in fitness but was still below the required level.
WIPA misinformation: Mr. Sarwan satisfied all the fitness requirements required by the WICB trainer and physiotherapist after the Ireland series March 2010.
The FACTS: This is totally incorrect. The purpose of the Jamaica Cricket Festival (which is what WIPA apparently dubs “the Ireland Series”) for the West Indies team was to provide much needed match fitness and ongoing management of the Team Physiotherapist and Fitness Trainer. Ramnaresh has been repeatedly told by the Team Specialists that his fitness levels need improving. A fitness test in Jamaica at the conclusion of the Jamaica Cricket Festival showed the ongoing training had further increased his levels of fitness, however, Ramnaresh was still below the required level.
WIPA misinformation: Due to the nature of the injury, though Mr. Sarwan was offered treatment in Guyana, after medical advice he obtained treatment in Canada again at his own expense.
The FACTS: Head Coach Ottis Gibson contacted Ramnaresh, a contracted player, to arrange for him to go to the Sagicor HPC in Barbados for rehabilitation under expert care and to assess him ahead of the Third Test v South Africa. Ramnaresh, a contracted player, informed Head Coach Gibson that he was planning to travel to Canada to see ‘a friend’ who is a chiropractor. Ramnaresh was encouraged to follow the instructions of Head Coach Gibson but did not and choose to head to Canada at his own cost to follow his own program.
Finally the WICB wishes to assert the following:
WIPA has no role whatsoever in determining which players are nominated for retainer contracts. This is the role of the WICB Selection Committee.
The WICB is comfortable in the knowledge that it acted in the best interest of West Indies cricket with regard to the list of players offered retainer contracts for the year 2010-2011.
The WICB will not allow WIPA to bully its way in the media by peddling misinformation, half truths and disingenuity and resorting to cheap PR gimmicks. (PR)