Former Barbados captain Kirk Edwards will finally get his chance to defend himself tomorrow. But as he prepares for an official meeting with the Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) hierarchy, there appears to be division among board members as to the merits and demerits of the treatment meted out to the West Indies middle-order batsman.
Acting chief executive officer of the BCA, Rollins Howard, this afternoon told Barbados TODAY that the 29-year-old was scheduled to meet with an ad hoc committee of the BCA at Kensington Oval to discuss his situation. However, Howard stressed that Edwards was not meeting with the BCA’s Disciplinary Committee.
Edwards was expelled from the Barbados team competing in the NAGICO Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago last Sunday after he did not sign for his team kit. He reportedly took this action on the grounds that the quality of the kit was inferior and that players were required to pay the cost of replacing the gear if it fell into disrepair or was lost during the two-year period stipulated for use. But a BCA board source, speaking to Barbados TODAY this afternoon on condition of anonymity, rubbished the action taken against Edwards and said the board had never made a definitive decision that a cricketer had to sign for a kit or was subject to punishment if he didn’t.
”The BCA should state what are the rules and regulations that were violated by Edwards and what are the procedures for dealing with such an issue,” the source said. But Howard responded by stressing that all players had to sign for their uniforms which was a fundamental rule for cricketers who were participating in any tournament. ”If a player does not have any kit, how is he going to participate in the tournament without the correct gear,” Howard asked?
However, the BCA board source also told Barbados TODAY that Edwards’ expulsion from the team did not follow the usual protocol.
”A player is normally given ten days to appeal and to get representation before any kind of disciplinary action is taken against him or punishment handed out,” the source said, adding that the BCA needed to tell the public whether Edwards was ever given a formal disciplinary hearing or afforded representation before his expulsion from the team. He cited the case involving Deandra Dottin who was recently disciplined by the West Indies Cricket Board on a misconduct charge following an incident involving a teammate that took place during the International T20 Tri-Nation Woman Series involving England, New Zealand and the West Indies at Kensington Oval last year.
”Deandra was allowed to take part in the One-Day International series which followed the T20 series. She was not discarded because due process was followed,” he said.
The BCA source told Barbados TODAY that while the team’s management on an overseas tour also had the authority to deal with a disciplinary matter, due process still had to be followed and a cricketer still had to be given the mentioned opportunities before punitive action was taken against him.
Shedding some light on Edwards being relieved of the captaincy of the Barbados team, the source said after Edwards was dumped as Barbados captain a decision was made by the BCA’s directors to meet with Edwards who was on tour to New Zealand at the time but that meeting never took place.
President and chief executive officer of the West Indies Player Association, Wavell Hinds, responded recently to Edwards’ situation and charged that he had been the victim of “abuse of power” and that WIPA would be looking at the matter from a legal standpoint. WIPA is providing Edwards with legal representation when he meets with the BCA’s ad hoc committee at Kensington Oval tomorrow.
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