WIPA to seek legal advice for Edwards
THE?WEST?INDIES?Players Association (WIPA) will be seeking legal advice on the expulsion of former captain Kirk Edwards from the Barbados cricket team after he had travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to play in the NAGICO Super50 tournament.
WIPA?president Wavell Hinds also took a swipe at Barbados’ team manager Hartley Reid for his role in the matter, saying that they were “firmly of the view that what Kirk had advised us of as being the issue was a matter which could be easily resolved through sensible and well-intentioned dialogue.”
In a statement issed late Sunday night, WIPA expressed “shock and disbelief”?that Edwards was withdrawn from the team by the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA)?and sent back home on Sunday, the same day Barbados defeated Trinidad and Tobago by 28 runs in their opening game.
Hinds said that after Edwards, on his arrival in Trinidad and Tobago informed WIPA director Michael Hall and himself that he had been threatened with expulsion from the team as a result of his refusal to sign for match kits, because the player had to pay the cost of replacement in the event of any damage or loss of items within the period stipulated for use.
WIPA?said Edwards also revealed that he did not sign the document ahead of the 2012 and 2013 seasons because in previous years the kit barely lasted two months. “Prior to his departure with the team, he was asked again by the BCA to sign the document in order to receive his kit, and he again did not do so. As a consequence he travelled to Trinidad without any official team kit,” WIPA?said.
“After Kirk made us aware that he had been threatened with expulsion from the team, and of the issue which had given rise to the threat, I immediately contacted Mr Reid and asked if he would be good enough to meet with us and Kirk at the team hotel right after the WIPA AGM [annual general meeting] which was being held nearby and he agreed,” said Hinds.
Hinds reported that during the meeting with Reid, WIPA officials were informed the document which the BCA was insisting that Edwards sign was in fact superseded by an official BCA player handbook which stated a player would be entitled to four sets of match kits for a one-year period as opposed to two kits for two years.
“It is WIPA’s view that the document was thus rendered irrelevant, and we also believe that this is the only logical conclusion to come to about it. Mr Reid unfortunately did not share this view and insisted that he was following orders from the BCA, and that if the other squad members had signed it then so should Mr. Edwards,” Hinds said.
He further said that in an effort to reach a compromise solution, and with Edwards’ consent, WIPA offered to sign the document on his behalf and to accept responsibility for any costs to replace the kit for any reason whatsoever.
“To our complete surprise Mr Reid told us in no uncertain terms that Mr Edwards did not have the right [to] give WIPA the authority to do so, demonstrating clearly a total lack of understanding of one of the basic rights of all persons…”
“It is instructive to note that the Barbados coach Mr Henderson Springer, who was also present during the discussions, was highly supportive of the offer from WIPA as the best way to resolve the issue.”