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Sarwan to get $1m from WICB
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will have to fork out $1 million to pay its former captain Ramnarace Sarwan for “publicly denigrating and humiliating” the Guyanese and Leicestershire middle order batsman. The payment is part of a $1.5 million pay out in damages which the Board incurred recently. Sarwan was awarded the damages after winning his arbitration matter against the WICB, a case in which he was cleared of all charges levelled against him by WICB, CEO Ernest Hilliare regarding his fitness and attitude.
Arbitrator Seenath Jairam SC, LLM, found the WICB guilty of breaching the selection process and not operating in a fair and transparent manner. The judgement also noted that Sarwan was publicly denigrated and humiliated. It revealed that the Board failed to comply with the appraisal process, breaching the principles of natural justice by failing to give Sarwan an opportunity to be heard, causing him significant loss and damage. In addition to the damages, 85 per cent of the cost of conducting the arbitration proceedings have to be paid by the WICB.
This works out to be additional estimated 500,000. In total case has cost the board an estimated $1.5 million. This comes on the heels of a $14 million awarded to the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) on behalf of its members over various breaches of contract. In the past 12 months, the WICB has lost an estimated 15 million at a time when sponsorship for their major events has not been easy to attract. The ruling is based largely on the WICB’s failure to adhere to basic principles of natural justice and blatantly ignoring the terms of the agreements with the players and their association, WIPA.
Furthermore in reviewing the ruling and documents, the WICB and its CEO Ernest Hilaire, did not attempt to resolve the issues through good faith negotiations or even mediation. The first letter in the proceedings was written in January 11 2010, the Notice of Dispute sent to the WICB on September 30 2010 and the hearing was September, 2011. Accordingly, it is clear that there was adequate time to discuss and resolve this matter but Hilaire simply refused to do so.
The records showed that Hilaire wrote to WIPA on December 6, 2010 stating that the WICB submitted its request to mediate the issue, however, inquiries to the Dispute Resolution Centre in Trinidad (DRC) by WIPA revealed that this was not done until December 13, 2010. As a consequence, the DRC became unavailable and WIPA referred the matter to Arbitration.
In his 131-page judgement, SC Jairam awarded Sarwan damages for: (a) loss of retainer; (b) breach of contract (re: failure to ensure fair and transparent selection process for denigration of the Claimant); (c) loss of provident fund contributions given his age; (d) loss of publicity/reputation; (e) general damages; (f) interest on the damages awarded at a rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of the award until payment.
The WICB was represented by Derek Ali, while WIPA was represented by Ms Donna Symmonds, Denise Haynes, Sushilla Jadoonanan and former WIPA President and CEO Dinanath Ramnarine.
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