Axed Courtney Browne-led selection panel mulls legal action against CWI

By Sports Desk April 19, 2019
Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Courtney Browne. Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Courtney Browne.

A lawyer for the recently dismissed Courtney Browne-led Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel has insisted his clients are strongly considering the initiation of legal proceedings and taken exception to recent statements made by Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt.

In dismissing the three-man panel, which also consisted of Lockhart Sebastien and Eldine Baptiste, last week, Skerritt said “we have terminated the old embedded selection policy which secretly, but actively, victimised some players and banished them from selection consideration”.

Tony Astaphan, the lawyer for the dismissed selectors, insisted they had taken issue with both the terminations and their public characterization as a group.  He claimed the selectors were simply following instructions and had always received positive affirmation for the body.

“My clients are very troubled by their dismissal and the manner of their dismissal, particularly the statements made about the 'old embedded selection policy which secretly but actively victimised players and banished them from selection consideration.  That's a serious [charge] and it affects the manner of dismissal of Mr Browne, Mr Baptiste and Mr Sebastien,” Astaphan said in a recent radio interview.

“What we are looking at now within the context of the labour code of Antigua and Barbuda is whether having regard to all the facts and circumstances, including the terms of the agreements signed by these good gentlemen, who as you know have dedicated their lives to West Indies cricket, constitute independent contractors or employees under the Antigua and Barbuda labour code.”

Astaphan pointed out that Browne had also been considered an exceptional employee by the CWI, which led to his contract being renewed on several occasions.

“He has been there since 2010 and you having before every renewal of his contract, gone through what is called an employee job assessment and getting extraordinary marks on matters of ethics and selections, to be thrown out like that with the commentary of a discriminatory selection policy which he did not set,” the Dominican explained.

“I think it is a well-known fact there was a selection criteria either approved by the board or requested by the board, and there was a technical team set up with the specific jurisdictional authority to decide who was eligible or not. They were the ones that made the decision as to who was eligible or not.”

Browne was replaced by Jamaican Robert Haynes, with Jimmy Adams and interim head coach Floyd Reifer also appointed to the panel.

 

 

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