Dear Dr. Hilaire,
Re: Allegations of indiscipline and lack of application
This is to acknowledge receipt of your response, dated April 28, 2011 to my letter of April 27, 2011 in which I drew to your attention certain remarks you made, which were reported on the ESPN website cricinfo.com.
Those remarks conveyed the impression to right-minded persons that I was among the cricketers you considered ill-disciplined, that I did not apply myself to my job, that I thought I was a superstar, and where you generally belittled and dismissed my significant contributions to West Indies Cricket over the past 15 years. As you should appreciate these comments are not only capable of impugning my reputation but, when combined with your subsequent comments, are inconsistent , raise more questions and require proper explanation by you.
This is to note that I have also seen a News Release about your sending me a response which makes a ridiculous point about my letter being unsigned and blaming the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for using every opportunity to cause disaffection in West Indies cricket and them not being averse to offering “ill advice” to players to achieve this end.
There is no mystery to my letter being unsigned. I simply did not have the email address I wanted and I asked the President and CEO of WIPA to send it on my behalf. He did so with my full knowledge and approval. Interestingly, you replied to me about the same letter I had sent, yet you did not question that aspect in your correspondence with me. Additionally, you complain about the media knowing about it right after it was sent, but apparently you saw no problem with WICB representatives making statements about me that I and several others consider extremely troubling.
Additionally, you also failed to make clear in any of your numerous interviews and releases:
1. The treatment towards me after the last Australian tour where after diving for a ball, I got injured and my treatment from the WICB physio was ineffective. I had to look after myself on my return home, including paying for all my medical expenses. The WI team physio advised that what I required was rest when in fact the doctors decided that I needed to have a cast because of the seriousness of the injury;
2. That the WICB selectors asked me to retire and were upset when I refused to do so;
3. That one of the selectors further told me that I would need to go to Regional Cricket and do exceptionally well and then they might consider me for future selection, despite me having the 3rd best average in the recently concluded World Cup for the WI cricket team, of anyone with more than two innings;
4. That the Coach said that I did not do anything for the team in the last 12 months and hence the reason for me being dropped;
5. That as far as you are concerned I was dropped from the team not for lack of performance, age, fitness and/or discipline but it is the new direction WICB is going in. What direction is that, when three of the four best batsmen are dropped from the team?
Now you are saying how valued I am; both cannot be true and consistent with WICB policy. When Mr. Howard, the Director of Cricket of the WICB, and my former Manager, texted me asking why I had sent the letter, I responded to him that I would not have said anything but when persons keep saying things in the press about me that do not reflect the reality of the situation I have to defend and protect myself. I have also told Mr. Howard on the telephone that I am dissatisfied with what the WICB has apparently condoned because since the conclusion of the World Cup, I have seen several attacks against the senior players, which includes me, by in particular the Coach, WICB CEO, and the Communications Officer in the WICB official Facebook and Twitter pages.
You also used the opportunity in that Release to attack me personally along with the WIPA. I may not be Dr Chanderpaul, but I have been a top-ranked international batsman and we have to be able to think critically under the most intense and stressful situations . It is therefore distressing that you blame WIPA by implication, if not overtly, for my letter saying that WIPA was offering me “ill advice”. You may not be aware but I have faced the best bowlers in the world in my career and I know how to counter-attack. Furthermore, I am my own man and would ask that you respect that!
You say that the Selectors have informed you of their intention to finalize discussions with me on my future role within the team. Since they are the ones who tried to force me to retire, I would think they should speak to me first. It is the first time in my years of playing for the West Indies that the selectors speak to the CEO instead of the player concerned. This is very troubling especially when you ask me to further that dialogue as “we” look forward to your continued involvement with West Indies cricket and that “I very much hope ‘we’ will continue seeing you playing for the West Indies whenever, and in whatever format, you may be selected.”
You have told me in your letter that you cannot comment on what was said or reported on the ESPN website and have asked me to look at the WICB’s website to see excerpts of an interview which you gave on the Line & Length Network. I am aware that the WICB sent out to many different media organizations a news release with those excerpts and it is this release from the WICB that ESPN used to write the article to which I referred. I therefore reiterate my request for answers to the questions asked therein and for the public retraction and apology while still reserving all my rights.
I have asked WIPA to take up this matter at the Board level since, as far as I know, you are an employee of the Board and not the Board itself and to find out if the Board supports the way I have been treated and the statements that you have made that give the impression that I am one of the people responsible for the decline of West Indies Cricket. I have always tried to be humble and diligent and I would say that I never thought of myself as a superstar, so these remarks by you have caused me great emotional distress and public damage to my once sterling reputation.
I would expect to hear from you as a matter of urgency.
(not signed when sent electronically)
CC Minister of Sports – Guyana