The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in recent times has lost over TT$20M in legal battles with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) acting on behalf of the West Indies players. The Ramnaresh Sarwan issue which has been covered in the Guardian over the last few days has cost the WICB a total of US$161,000 plus legal fees. Arbitrator Seenath Jairam SC awarded Sarwan and the West Indies Players Association, the following:
(a) I award and adjudge that the Claimant is entitled to the sum of US$95,000 as damages for loss of retainer.
(b) I award and adjudge that the Claimant is entitled to the sum of US$20,000 in damages for breach of contract.
(c) I award and adjudge that the Claimant is entitled to the full sum of US$18,000 being loss of provident fund contributions given his age.
(d) I award and adjudge that the Claimant is entitled to the sum of US$13,000 as damages for loss of publicity/reputation.
(e) I award and adjudge that the Claimant is entitled to general damages in the sum of US$15,000 under his claim for further or other relief.
(f) I award, direct and determine that the WICB do pay 85 percent of the full costs of arbitration and of this my award and to refund the WIPA/the Claimant 85 percent of all fees paid to the Arbitrator for this arbitration and award, such costs to be taxed by me or by Registrar of Supreme Court of Judicature of T&T in default of agreement. I was tempted to award full costs to the Claimant/WIPA but given the relationship between the parties I am minded not to exacerbate the already fractious relationship.
(g) I further award, direct and determine that the WICB do pay interest on the sums payable as set out under paragraph [10.0] (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) totalling US$161,000 at the rate of 12 percent from the date of my award (in accordance section 13 of the Remedies of Creditors Act Chap 8:09 of Laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) until payment.
The above is just one of the battles that the WICB has lost in recent times. The organisation is said to have incurred costs in the region of $TT20M. A coupe of months ago the board also lost the ‘Scheduling’ matter against WIPA and they had to fork out a total of US$2M to pay on that occasion. There are also a number of other matters that have gone to arbitration and if it goes against the WICB, they will go into a deeper financial hole. Losing money in a time that there are no sponsors for the major Caribbean tournaments makes it even worse for the WICB. Over the past few years they have lost sponsorship for the Regional First Class tournament, as well as the regional 50-overs tournament. Even the regional Under-19 tournament which was sponsored for many years by the Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL), has been discontinued with the company cutting back on sponsorship. The regional T20 tournament is lucrative however, as the WICB has been able to land good television deals to bring in some income.