“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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TTCB must re-think Emrit/Lewis retainer issue
The T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) recently took Rayad Emrit and Evin Lewis off their payroll because they jetted off to participate in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)T20 tournament.
Information coming from the TTCB was that they two players broke the terms of their contract with the Red Force franchise by signing with their respective T20 teams in Bangladesh before seeking No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the TTCB.
The players in their defence said that they had gotten the go ahead verbally from a senior employee of the TTCB. The players went ahead thinking that they got the blessings from the board and that getting the NOC would have just been a formality.
Well it did not play out as both their names were struck off the retainer list. While I agree that the players should have gotten written approval from the TTCB before signing off with their overseas clubs, I think striking them off the retainer list is too harsh a penalty for a first infraction. If what the players are saying is true concerning the senior TTCB employee then the person in question should stand up and come forward and either acknowledge or deny what the players have said is true or not. This could lead to some kind of mitigation because the executive of the TTCB and then factor this into the equation.
I am still not saying that the players are right, but we need to look at the matter in detail. The board, while they would like the players to stay home and represent the franchise, they also have to take into consideration that the players have a shelf life and would like to financially maximise their playing time.
The TTCB in my humble view could have a rotation system in terms of allowing players to go outside to trade their skills. If this is done, then at all times they would have a pretty solid squad representing the franchise. I have no problems with the players not being paid for the period they are on ‘foreign’ assignments, but to take away the contract for an entire year is not the best solution.
At the current Nagico Super50 series I have noticed the approach of Emrit and Lewis and they have given 100 percent commitment to the Red Force cause. Both players have shown growth in terms of their professionalism and it is clear for everyone to see that the experience in Bangladesh has led to an improvement in their cricket.
When this happens, who benefits? Not only the players but the franchise because both are now standout performers on a team that is missing so many senior players. It is not too late for the TTCB to call both gentlemen in and have meaningful dialogue as far as the contracts are concerned. We in a day when relations with administrators and players are at an all time low and some people out there will continue to put a wedge between both parties for selfish gains.
The TTCB must act now and put this matter to an amicable rest, so that the fires which keep burning can be doused.
On another matter, I think the social outcry from certain players not receiving their meal allowance on time was uncalled for and in poor taste. Players need to understand that if they go public with situations that they are unhappy about can lead to no good.
If I am upset with a situation at Guardian Media Limited and I go unto social media to deal with it, I don’t think that my employers would take kindly to that and some kind of disciplinary measure would come into effect.
The players must also understand that when tweets go out stating that they are hungry, as they have not gotten their mean allowance, it is embarrassing to them, as they are not sending a proper message to the public and the many young people who see them as role models.Sometimes these things are better dealt with internally to get the best results.
So all is not lost but we must look at ways to better relations in West Indies cricket and stop being a laughing stock to the world. The world has had enough opinions about pour cricket on and off the field and it is high time that we close ranks and deal with our business.