7th Jan 2012

Source: Trinidad and Tobago Guardian

Guyana will take part in the regional T20 cricket tournament after all as pressure from the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) forced the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to change their minds yesterday. However, the WICB sent out a press release stating: “The Guyana Cricket Board, this morning, advised the West Indies Cricket Board that, despite its offices remaining locked by the Government of Guyana, it has managed to make some progress in being able to provide a Guyana team for the Caribbean Twenty20 2012 Tournament. “As a result of gains made, the GCB sought additional assistance from the WICB to ensure that the Guyana team participates in the Caribbean Twenty20 and the WICB has willingly agreed to provide the assistance as requested by the GCB.”

The Guyana team, as sanctioned, selected and provided by the GCB, will depart Guyana today and will play the feature match against the Leeward Islands on the opening day on Monday January 9. The GCB had, on Wednesday, advised the WICB that it was not in a position to provide a Guyana team for the Caribbean Twenty20 as a result of logistical and administrative challenges imposed upon it by the Government of Guyana. The release continued: “The WICB is delighted that the GCB, against considerable odds, and despite the Government of Guyana’s refusal to unlock its offices, has been able to make significant steps towards being able to provide the Guyana team.” However it is understood WICB’s lawyers, Luke Hamelsmith and Christopher Hamelsmith filed emergency papers Thursday asking Judge Rahim to clarify whether they would be in contempt of court if they were to proceed to host the T20 tournament without agreement with WIPA, including the exclusion of Guyana.

WIPA’s team lead by Dinanath Ramnarine and heavy hitting lawyer Dave Kissoon, and instructed by Ms Sushilla Jadoonanan, Esq. immediately opposed the WICB application. Justice Rahim granted WIPA until 4pm yesterday to file documents in opposition for a hearing today at 10.30 am. After numerous requests from WIPA to the WICB to confirm that Guyana would participate as previously agreed between WIPA and the WICB, WIPA threatened WICB to seek injunctive relief stopping the tournament. Specifically, WIPA wrote a letter to the WICB stating they would seek court intervention if the WICB did not confirm by 2 pm yesterday that the Guyana team would participate. As a result of immense pressure put on the WICB by WIPA, the WICB wrote to WIPA saying that the Guyana team has been included and asked WIPA to give an undertaking that they will not seek any injunctive relief on the tournament. WIPA has advised the WICB that it will not seek injunctive relief in light of the fact that the Guyana team has been included but reserved its rights on taking any action arising out of any other breaches of the agreement that the WICB may have committed. The development came less than 24 hours after the WICB announced they were replacing the Guyanese side with a West Indies B-Team in the tournament which will be jointly staged in Antigua and Barbados.

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