Wednesday, February 22, 2012

JCA lashes out at WICB over 'disrespect' shown to Prime Minister

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has come out in strong support of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who on Monday was chastised by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for allegedly making ill-advised statements regarding the ongoing impasse involving star batsman, Chris Gayle.

The WICB, in a tersely worded media release, said it was surprised to hear the comments from Simpson Miller, who as guest speaker at last Saturday’s JCA annual awards dinner, questioned the reasons for Gayle’s continued exclusion from the West Indies team and called for a speedy resolution to the impasse.

“The WICB regrets the comments made by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller … ,” said the WICB.

“The WICB is further disappointed that the relevant officials in Jamaica did not, or did not properly, brief the newly elected prime minister.

“Had the Honourable Prime Minister been briefed she would have been informed that Mr Chris Gayle has been written to by the WICB, clearly outlining the full details of what is required of him. The WICB is awaiting a response from Mr Gayle.”

The release went on to add: “The WICB implores the prime minister to use her good office to urge Mr Gayle to respond favourably in an effort to put this issue in the past.

“The WICB does not believe that the prime minister is suggesting that Mr Gayle be returned to the West Indies team without withdrawing his comments.

“This would be tantamount to a member of the Jamaican Cabinet lambasting and deriding the leader of the Cabinet and fellow Cabinet colleagues, and being returned to that august body without any accountability for his or her actions.”

However, in an equally forthright response, the JCA, headed by Lyndel ‘Muddy’ Wright, said it was appalled by the statements of the WICB, describing them as “out of order” and “disrespectful”.

“The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) wishes to state its complete rejection and condemnation of the unjustified and disrespectful criticisms levelled by the WICB against Prime Minister the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller,” the JCA said.

“As a shareholder, the JCA finds it inexcusable that the WICB … could have made such a statement without consulting any of the board members in Jamaica, including the WICB vice-president, Mr Dave Cameron, and Mr Lyndel Wright, and Mr Milton Henry, who are Jamaica’s two representatives on the WICB.

“The JCA calls upon the president of the WICB, Dr Julian Hunte, to state whether or not he sanctioned or sanctions the statement.”

Added the JCA: “For the WICB to engage in the diatribe about how the prime minister should deal with her Cabinet colleagues is out of order and disrespectful.

“The JCA is calling upon the president of the WICB to retract the unfounded and unwarranted attack against the Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica, and to move immediately to resolve the Chris Gayle impasse, as we believe he has been more than reasonably punished.”

Gayle has been at loggerheads with the WICB ever since making controversial statements against the board during a radio interview last May.

The WICB has since declared that for Gayle to make a return to the team he needs to first apologise or make a retraction of his statements.

Gayle has since refused to do so on the grounds that he was speaking the truth.

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