T&T and West Indies opener Lendl Simmons is the latest West Indies cricketer to defeat the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in the courtroom. The Arima resident has been awarded TT$750,000 by the arbitrator as he won his matter which was led by former West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) president, Dinanath Ramnarine. Simmons’ award follows that of Sarwan’s, which totalled TT$1 million. In the Simmons matter, the arbitrator heard that the right-hander was retained by the WICB for the 2009-2010 contract year. Under his retainer contract, Simmons was engaged to render skilled services as a cricket player for the period October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010 and the provision of these services represented a full-time occupation. Although Simmons was under a retainer, he was not selected by the WICB for an extended period of time, including: March 2010—One-Day Tour against Zimbabwe; April 2010—World Cup, A team series against Zimbabwe; May 2010—A team series against Bangladesh; May-June 2010—South Africa Series, and June-July 2010—A team tour of England and Ireland.
Several media reports were released concerning Simmons and his non-selection for the West Indies team alleging that Simmons was the subject of disciplinary proceedings. WIPA, on Simmons’ behalf, wrote to the WICB requesting exact particulars of the disciplinary proceedings, as Simmons was not made aware of any complaint against him. The WICB responded stating that there was no report or complaint against Simmons. The claim made by WIPA included loss and damages for Simmons due to damages for breach of contract, damages for loss of opportunity, special damages for loss of earnings and interest thereon. At the arbitration, Clyde Butts, chief selector, admitted that the media reports were denigrating to Simmons and admitted that the appraisal process was not adhered to.
The arbitrator, Seenath Jairam SC, after hearing evidence from both parties held:
That the selection process was not done in a fair and transparent manner in breach of Article VII (e) (i) of the MOU. That the integrity of the selection process had not been kept or maintained since public comments had been made which denigrated Simmons. That the appraisal process had not been complied with in accordance with Article VII (a) of the MOU and there had been a clear and unmistakable breach of the requirements set out in Schedule “F” thereof.
The arbitrator awarded the following to Simmons:
1) The sum of US$24,000.00, as damages for loss of retainer (the claim was for the sum of US$24,000.00).
2) The sum of US$34,750.00, as damages for loss of ICC World Cup Fees (the claim was for the sum of US$69,500.00).
3) The sum of US$40,974.09, being loss of match fees (the claim was for the sum of US$122,922.27).
4) The sum of US$7,479.31, being loss of provident fund contributions (the claim was for the sum of US$18,438.44).
5) The sum of US$10,000.00, as damages for loss of publicity/reputation (the claim was for the sum of US$50,000.00).
6) That the WICB do pay 2/3 of the full costs of the arbitration ... and to refund the WIPA 8/10 of all fees paid to the arbitrator for this arbitration and award, such costs to be taxed by the arbitrator or Registrar of the Supreme Court of Judicature of T&T, in default of agreement.
7) That the WICB do pay interest on the sums payable as set out under paragraph [13.0] (a), (b), (d) and (f) totalling US$117,203.40 at the rate of 12% pa from the date of the award (in accordance section 13 of the Remedies of Creditors Act Chap 8:09 of the Laws of the Republic of T&T) until payment.