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Edwards sent home by BCA

…abuse of his rights, says Wipa
Monday, February 3, 2014
Barbados opening batsman Dwayne Smith smashes this ball through the off-side during his fine 83 in yesterday’s NAGICO Super50 match against T&T at the Queen’s Park Oval. Photo Ashley Allen.

The West Indies Players Association (Wipa) yesterday expressed shock and disbelief following the expulsion of West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards from the Barbados team which is taking part in the Nagico Super50 tournament.


Barbados were meeting T&T in their first match of the season and following Johnathon’s Carter’s 109 and Dwayne Smith 83, reached a compelling 269 for 8 after their 50 overs.


T&T were left needing what would be their highest score against the Bajans in the 50 over match if they were to win.


Yesterday’s match, however, was overshadowed by the news that Edwards had been sent home by the team management.


President & CEO of Wipa, Wavell Hinds and Wipa director Michael Hall, held discussions with the player and Barbados’ team manager Hartley Reid.


In a release from Wipa, Hinds said after Edwards informed his Association of the issue, he contacted Reid for a meeting. “We 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.”


Wipa said the matter involved Edwards’ match kit. “We are advised that when a player is provided with these items by the BCA, they are asked to sign a document agreeing that the two match shirts and two match trousers must serve them for two years, and that the player will stand the cost of replacement in the event of any damage to or loss of these items within those two years.”


According to Wipa, Edwards did not sign the document ahead because in previous years the kit barely lasted two months before being unfit for use. “Prior to his departure with the team, he was asked again by the BCA to sign the document, and he again did not do so. As a consequence he travelled to Trinidad without any kit.”


On Thursday, Edwards’ teammate Kenroy Williams collected his kit and meal allowance. “While there, the manager told Williams to also sign for Edwards’ training kit and meal allowance—without Edwards’ consent,” according to Wipa.


On Saturday, the manager advised Edwards that he had been instructed by the BCA to tell him that if he did not sign the document he would be sent home. “That is when Wipa became aware of the matter.”


During the discussions with Reid, Wipa was advised that the document which the BCA was insisting that Edwards sign had been superceded by an official player handbook which stated that a player would be entitled to four (sets of match kit for a one-year period. 


Wipa said this invalidated the document. “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 Edwards.”


In an effort to reach a compromise, Wipa offered to sign the document on Edwards’ behalf and to accept responsibility for any costs to replace the kit. “To our complete surprise Reid told us that Edwards did not have the right to give Wipa the authority to do so, demonstrating clearly a total lack of understanding of one the basic rights of all persons, and also contradicting his own actions of the previous Thursday evening when he gave a third party the right to sign on Edwards’ behalf—without his consent.”


Wipa noted that throughout the discussions, Reid remained inflexible and did not try to find a solution. “Wipa is extremely disappointed with Reid’s attitude. At the end of the day, an unnecessary blot has been placed on the career of a dedicated and talented West Indian cricketer, all because those entrusted with leadership roles in our game appear not to have the requisite skills to execute the job.”


Wipasaid it will be seeking legal advice on behalf of Edwards.