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WICB to WIPA: We pick team


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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There seems to be no end in sight for the current battle between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).
The WICB yesterday fired back a bouncer at WIPA, claiming 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 board was reacting directly to WIPA’s criticisms earlier this week surrounding Guyana’s Ramnaresh Sarwan not being offered a retainer contract into next year.
In fact, the board claimed in a statement released yesterday, that Sarwan, though showing signs of improvement, never became fully fit after a back injury curtailed his season.
And fighting fire with fire, the board also stated clearly that it is them, and not the WIPA that remain responsible for choosing players to wear the maroon cap.
“WIPA has no role whatsoever in determining which players are nominated for retainer contracts. This is the role of the WICB selection committee,” the board said.
 “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 at the peril of players’ reputations,” the WICB said in it’s strongly worded three-page statement.
In responding the latest salvo from WIPA, the board also chose to clear up a number of instances of what it called “misinformation” the players body continues to put into the public forum.
Last Monday, WIPA rapped the decision not to offer the retainer contract to Sarwan, claiming the player had not been given the opportunity to address concerns raised by the WICB, and had always worked hard to return to fitness when injured.
Firstly, the board denied Sarwan suffered simply from back spasms.
“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,” WICB countered in its statement yesterday.
 The board noted that after exhaustive consultation among the specialists, a programme of treatment was agreed upon for Sarwan.
The board also vehemently denied refusing to pay for Sarwan’s subsequent medical treatment. “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,” the board said yesterday.
The board noted that for WIPA to claim such, was “wholly inaccurate, disingenuous and a clear attempt at feeding the public false information in an attempt to mislead”. 
According to the WICB, Sarwan was offered medical treatment in Guyana, but declined. He also participated in a special training camp under the supervision of coach Ottis Gibson, but was determined still to be below the required level of fitness, the WICB added.
And after that, Sarwan completed a fitness test in Jamaica at the conclusion of the Jamaica Cricket Festival, after which it was determined he continued to improve, but remained “below the required level of fitness”. (BA)

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