“I am also notifying the Board by this letter, and would appreciate if it could be forwarded to Mr. (Robin) Singh in light of my absence from Guyana, that I will be participating in the trials and training sessions required to enable me to be available for selection in the Regional four day tournament starting February 2, 2012.
“I confirm my availability from December 12, 2011 to commence trials. Please respond confirming that Mr. Singh has been notified and that no further action is necessary on my part. Please also provide an E-mail address for Mr. Singh,” Sarwan, the only Guyanese to score a fifty in this year’s Caribbean Cup or in last year’s Champion’s League t20 competition in South Africa, informed GCB President Ramsay Ali via a letter which was leaked to the Media.
When contacted in Guyana yesterday, the 31-year-old right-hander confirmed sending the GCB correspondence but declined to make a public comment on the letter which was also copied to President of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) Dinanath Ramnarine, the ex-West Indies Test leg-spinner.
In their response to Sarwan’s claim that he was fit to resume cricket, the GCB had questioned the integrity of Sarwan’s medical personnel in Florida and did not recognize the medical update on the youngest West Indian ever to play First-Class cricket.
Sarwan also ensured that another report with the Hospital’s letterhead was sent to the GCB by Physical Therapist, William Simmons, who is attached to the Memorial Hospital West ‘Memorial’ in Pembroke Pines, Florida, certifying his fitness.
“In short, Mr. Simmons has confirmed that I received physical therapy services from November 4, 2011 to November 30, 2011 having been diagnosed with lumbar internal disc disruption. I have been cleared by Dr. Davis, a doctor resident at Memorial, to return to full activities,” the GCC batsman told the GCB.
“Accordingly, I am available for selection and would like to be considered to be selected as part of the team. Clearly, in light of the foregoing, the GCB’s comments concerning my medical treatment i.e. that the treatment received was unethical and possibly illegal, questioning the integrity of the doctors and the institution to which they are attached, are without basis and appear designed solely to malign me and my medical practitioners as well as a well-respected hospital. I request that the relevant comments be immediately withdrawn and the record be set straight. Out of an abundance of caution, I have notified the relevant practitioners and the Hospital of these potentially defamatory comments and reserve all rights in this regard,” Sarwan added in the letter to the GCB.
Only Shiv Chanderpaul (24) and Clive Lloyd (19) have scored more Test centuries than Sarwan who told the GCB that it is disappointing that having played cricket for the Guyana national team from the tender age of 15 and having dedicated all of his professional life since then to his country and team that he has not been afforded basic professional courtesies expected from his home board.
“I would have expected that common decency and minimum professional standards would dictate that before any decision was made concerning my fitness, there would first be a determination by medical practitioners appointed by the board for a proper assessment to diagnose whether in fact I was unable to perform. This is especially true given the fact that there is more than adequate time for me to be considered for selection for the tournament, which is more than a month away, and from my fifteen year contribution to the development of Guyanese cricket, during which I have had the honour and privilege to lead the team,” Sarwan reasoned.
The stroke player who last played for the West Indies in the home series against India this year, said that in making a determination that he was unfit, the Board not only failed to comply with the basic requirements of professionalism and respect, but ignored the standard process established by the relevant agreements between the WICB and WIPA, to which the territorial boards are bound.
“In fact these agreements first require a diagnosis from a board appointed doctor, and proscribe that if I disagree with the first diagnosis and require a second opinion, that I may obtain one at my own expense, and in the event there are differences in views by both medical practitioners, an independent person be appointed, and that assessment be final and binding. However, to my dismay and disappointment, this process was entirely disregarded. It is truly unfortunate that instead of guaranteeing my basic right, the board has instead decided to abandon me and make a decision without having complied with established procedure and attempting to properly ascertain all the underlying facts,” Sarwan lamented in his letter to the GCB.
“Clearly, the decision taken by the GCB and its selectors was done without giving me the opportunity to go through the established process or in accordance with the standards expected of the Board. Moreover, despite the fact that I have been in contact the Board at least on 15 separate occasions since the time of my injury to afford them the courtesy of updates, not once did the Board take it upon itself to call me to inquire about my well-being,” Guyana’s only successful t20 Captain added in his letter.
A Trinidad newspaper story suggested that there is a sinister plot to ‘get rid’ of Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga, all huge WIPA supporters, from West Indies cricket and Sarwan told the GCB that while he previously laughed off any such notion and supported the Board, in light of the recent circumstances that have arisen, the Board’s actions are beginning to legitimize these rumours.
“I would hope this is not the case. I maintain that I have always conducted myself in the highest standards demanded by this sport, not only on the field, but in all communications with all concerned parties. At all times, including during the time of my treatment, I have always communicated with the greatest respect with all office holders. Moreover, as you know, I have personally paid my medical expenses in order to get fit in the anticipation of once more representing Guyana,” Sarwan disclosed to the GCB.
The GCB had threatened to take disciplinary against Sarwan for his public comments and the alleged threats to Griffith during a telephone conversation from Canada but in his letter to Ali, Sarwan told the GCB Boss that he was available to meet with the board to resolve any issues between them with the hope this and any other matters can be finally and immediately resolved.
“Please make the necessary arrangements to have that meeting if deemed necessary, and in that vein, I remind you of my right to have my representative attend with me if I deem it fit to facilitate any such meeting. I look forward to receiving from you a list of available dates from the period of December 13, 2011 to December 31, 2011 on which the board is available to meet,” Sarwan, who has scored 31 Tons in 191 First-Class matches since his first in 1995 at Albion, said in his letter.
“I would like to respectfully request that the record be set straight, reflect that I was injured, that I have received proper medical attention at my own cost, and now having received treatment, I am fit and ready for selection, and that I am desirous of representing my country and the people of Guyana who have loyally stood by me through difficult and celebratory times.
“I reserve all rights and all statements contained herein are without prejudice to any legal rights I may have, including the right to pursue any claims of personal liability I may have in light of the recent ruling made by Chief Justice Chang. I look forward to your prompt response and a speedy resolution to all issues contained herein,” Sarwan’s letter to the GCB concluded.