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Simmo kept in the dark over continued snub
T&T and West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons who was recently awarded TT$750,000 by arbitrator Seenath Jairam SC after winning his matter against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), was penalized for his body language and not his performances or any disciplinary matter.
This came to light during the hearing before Senior Counsel Jairam during the arbitration matter. Simmons 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, April 2010 - 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.
Simmons was interviewed by the Trinidad Guardian during the period and stated that he was not aware as to why, he was being ignored after scoring heavily in the regional series. There were other reports that suggested 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.
Subsequently, further media reports surfaced regarding Simmons citing the Chairman of the WICB Selection Committee stating that “Issues” kept Simmons out of selection. These “issues” were never divulged to Simmons and he had no opportunity to address any concerns of the WICB. The Selection Committee of the WICB failed to inform Simmons on exactly what rule or regulation, if any, was alleged to have been breached and the facts which disclosed any alleged breach and the precise nature of the issues which prevented him from being selected.
WIPA, pursuant to Article IX (b) (ii) of the Retainer Contract and to instructions from Simmons, wrote to the WICB on September 16, 2010 invoking the Grievance Procedure in accordance with the Retainer Contract, by virtue of which, the WICB was required to meet with WIPA with a view to resolving all the issues complained of in respect of Simmons. However, the WICB responded on September 22, 2010 stating that Simmons was not entitled to invoke the Grievance Procedure and refused to meet under the procedure.
In response to the WICB’s letter of September 22, WIPA wrote, highlighting the reach of Article IX of the Retainer Contract and referred the matter to mediation and submitted its request to the Dispute Resolution Centre, Trinidad (“DRC”) on November 2, 2010 after writing to the WICB several times and without receiving a response. WICB wrote to WIPA on November 4, 2010, agreeing to mediate the matter at the DRC and indicated that it would submit its request for mediation to the DRC as WIPA had already done. The WICB wrote to WIPA on December 6, 2010 stating that it had submitted its request to the DRC; however, inquiries to the DRC by WIPA revealed that this was not done until January 11, 2011. As a consequence, the DRC became unavailable as previously advised and the matter was consequently referred to arbitration by WIPA.
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