EXPERIENCED West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has expressed disappointment with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over its tardiness in responding to erroneous reports linking him to match-fixing.
Guyana Cricket Chronicles, an Internet blog, claimed in a posting on March 28 that the former West Indies captain had been accused by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Both the WICB and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) issued statements on the matter on Saturday denying that Sarwan was under investigation, but the player was unhappy that the regional governing body had not moved earlier to clear his name.
“This has hurt deeply to know that the WICB had the information all the time and up to this time has not spoken publicly on the matter. I am deeply disappointed,” Sarwan said in a release that was issued by WIPA hours after the WICB issued a statement.
In its statement, the WICB appealed to established and reputable media organizations to maintain professionalism in the execution of their mandate and to seek credible sources of information.
“The WICB has become aware that reputable media organizations have published and broadcast a story about Ramnaresh Sarwan which did not emanate either from the WICB or from the ICC and can only be sourced to an anonymous blog,” the WICB said in a statement.
“Any and all issues relating to anti-corruption in international cricket are managed by the ICC Anti-Corruption And Security Unit, which briefs players directly and informs the players’ board as necessary on the status of any investigations.
“The board will continue to maintain its practice of not responding to accusations, stories, rumours and mischief as it pertains to any anti-corruption issue relating to any player. The WICB views rumour-mongering on anti-corruption or on any cricket related matter as irresponsible and reprehensible.”
In a separate statement later in the day, WIPA said in many other matters the WICB had reacted very quickly by dashing off news releases, and questioned why this was not the case in this instance since Sarwan “would be deeply concerned about the possible effect of such allegations on his credibility, livelihood, reputation and character”.
WIPA also said that it was extremely disappointed and deeply concerned over the WICB’s inaction, given the very serious and false allegations made against Sarwan. (HG)