Portia rebukes WICB
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has lambasted the leadership of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as being “crude and rude”, and says she plans to take up the issue of its behaviour at the CARICOM Heads of Government level.
She was speaking on Thursday after the WICB accused her of not “[having] the benefit of the full information pertaining to the matters on which she spoke”, after she complained last weekend about Jamaica not being granted a Test during the upcoming Australian tour while also lamenting the exclusion of Chris Gayle from the West Indies team.
In a release on Monday, the WICB contended that “relevant officials in Jamaica did not – or did not properly – brief the newly-elected prime minister”
on the scheduling issues and also suggested that Simpson-Miller “use her good office to urge Mr. Gayle to respond favourably in an effort to put this issue in the past”.
“I think they [WICB] are very rude and, if anything, they owe me and Jamaica an apology,” said the prime minister.
“I will ensure when I go to CARICOM I raise with the various heads the rudeness and crudeness of the present leadership of the West Indies Cricket Board.
“I don’t know if some countries they could respond to any prime minister as they responded to me, and I will not forget their response.”
Gayle has not played for West Indies in almost a year after criticising the WICB and head coach Ottis Gibson. The board has insisted he must apologise before being considered for selection and Gayle has refused.
In its response to Simpson-Miller, the board said it did not believe that the “prime minister is suggesting that Mr Gayle be returned to the West Indies team without withdrawing his comments”.
“Everything I said I stand by it. Sabina Park, I stand by it; Chris Gayle, I stand by it,” she said. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
She added: “Chris Gayle is a Jamaican and if they can treat a sportsman, a cricketer the level of a Chris Gayle, former captain of the team . . . that way and . . . not believe Jamaica should speak up about it, then something is wrong with them.”
The WICB has already come under fire this week from the Jamaica Cricket Association who labelled the response to Simpson-Miller’s comments as “unjustified and disrespectful”.
CARICOM heads are scheduled to meet next month in Suriname for the 23rd Inter-sessional meeting. (CMC)