Steve Liburd & Minister of Sport still to bat in court

It was back on 27th January, 2014, when the news broke that Liburd had been arrested and charged by police for the offence of assault, threatening language and armed with an offensive weapon.

Police at the time refused to indicate what was the weapon Liburd was alleged to have used to threaten the Minister, but later they admitted that it was a cricket bat.

At the time Liburd was amongst Leeward Islands cricketers engaged in a practice match at the Conaree Playing field, just on the outskirts of Basseterre, when it is reported that he refused to shake the hand of the minister and at some point they exchanged unfriendly words. It was sometime during this exchange when the alleged threat was suppose to have been made.

This led to a report being made to the police and police travelled to Liburd’s home where he was arrested and taken to the main police station, not too far away. He has rejected the notion that he was at fault and that any violent threat was made.

When contacted Liburd back in January, he had indicated that his lawyers as well as those of the minister were in dialogue to seek a resolution, and that a joint statement was to be make on the issue. is not certain of what exactly transpired but it now seems that no common ground was reached to put this to bed.

Earlier this week, Minister Liburd while speaking on local radio, was asked by a caller what was the latest and he said “The issue with Steve Liburd is so unfortunate, believe you me.”

The Sport Minister said that the matter could have been already settled. “The fact that this could have been done (with) already… all he had to do was to basically apologize for what happened.”

Phillip continued, “A matter of fact, he (Liburd) said he was going for a written apology”, as was stated months ago, but it never happened.

The reason advanced by Phillip, was that Liburd “was advised by a politician not to apologize and we are where we are at this point in time.”

It is said that Liburd is scheduled to appear before the courts sometime in the future to answer the charges laid against him.

Coming out of the incident Liburd was also suspended from the Leeward Islands training squad, and was not considered to represent the sub-region in the current four day tournament now taking place, with two recent matches held in Warner Park St. Kitts.

Some have already started to accuse the government and the minister in particular of denying Liburd the opportunity to play the sport of his choice at the level of the Leeward Islands and one day internationally for the West Indies Senior team. In 2000, he was vice-captain of the West Indies Under-15 team that won the Cost Cutter U15 World Cup Challenge where he hit the winning run.

However, it was the Leeward Board, which wrote to him about the matter and rescinded his selection to what was the practice squad then.


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