After enduring an “embarrassing” hour-long ordeal before being allowed to enter Kensington Oval on Sunday, Barbados and West Indies cricketing great Desmond Haynes said he had even contemplated asking that his name be removed from the Haynes & Greenidge stand.
He told Barbados TODAY the incident that occurred before the start of the West Indies’ first Twenty20 International against England, left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Haynes, who is also the chairman of the Cricket Legends of Barbados, was forced to join a long queue of patrons on two occasions as he attempted to enter the grounds.
“To be honest with you, I am totally disappointed. As a matter of a fact, I felt so badly I wanted to find out the right procedure to get my name off the stand; it got to that stage.
“I wanted to boycott the cricket. I said to myself I don’t want to go back there to go through that type of humiliation but then I was persuaded by my wife ‘don’t let them get to you’.”
According to Haynes, he arrived at Kensington Oval around 12:30 pm to ready Box 407, owned by the Cricket Legends of Barbados, for guests attending the match. However there was a long queue and he attempted to use another entrance but security denied him entry.
“I was asked for my ID which I handed to security. I said to the lady I need to get into the area because I want to sort out the box; she requested tickets. I presented the tickets and I also had an invitation from the president of the Barbados Cricket Association to be in the President’s Box so I had all those passes.
“She informed me, ‘No you can’t come through here. Mr Howard said if you don’t have accreditation nobody can get through here’,” the former cricketer said.
He then joined the queue and entered the Oval but he again endured another mishap when he attempted to make his way to the stand bearing his name. Security again asked him to join the long queue.
Haynes said he was so fearful that other legends, including National Hero Sir Garfield Sobers, might encounter the same treatment that he made a point of speaking to security about it.
“I was so scared on Sunday that security would have stopped Sir Gary and I ran back and asked them: ‘Please, you stopped me but please open
that gate for Sir Garfield Sobers. Don’t let this be an issue’.”
He told Barbados TODAY that he subsequently contacted the Chief Executive Officer of the Legends of Barbados to press the BCA to give him accreditation but he was informed that the BCA had no control over the issue and he had to go through the West Indies Cricket Board.
“I don’t know why they cannot get accreditation for people like us or get an official pass so that we can move around freely at Kensington Oval when there are events down there, since our names are on the box. We should not be requesting this; this should be a given,” Haynes said.
The former West Indies opening batsman also raised concern that cricket legends with boxes bearing their names were given too few match tickets. They normally receive four tickets to attend games.
“I am not asking them to give me the whole stand but at least I think five or six tickets are adequate. We are not asking for the world.”
Though disappointed at the treatment he received, Haynes returned to Kensington Oval today for the second T20 match and pledged he would be back again on Thursday for the final game.
“I believe we will win the Twenty20 series. I think we have got a fantastic Twenty20 team even though we are going to miss the likes of [Kieron] Pollard who I believe is a very, very good Twenty20 cricketer and someday who I would like to see at some stage captain the West Indies.”