Digicel, proud sponsor of West Indies Cricket, has entered into a formal arbitration process with the West Indies Cricket Board regarding the proposed West Indies versus England 20-20 match to be held in Antigua in November.
Digicel is hopeful that this process can be concluded with the minimum of delay and looks forward to the WICB’s contribution in this regard.
Unfortunately, the bilateral dispute resolution process between Digicel and the WICB (as initiated by Digicel) did not resolve the dispute between the parties. As such, the matter has been referred to the London Court of International Arbitration where the urgent appointment of an Arbitrator to hear the dispute is awaited.
Digicel has made numerous approaches to both the WICB and to Sir Allen Stanford with a view to discussing the proposed 20/20 Series openly. This included a letter sent by Digicel to Sir Allen Stanford early last week in which a meeting was sought. Digicel made representatives available to meet with him at a time and place of his choosing. Regrettably, this communication was not responded to, and to date, remains unacknowledged.
Sir Allen Stanford’s articulated position (which appears to be supported by the WICB) is that the team which has been selected to take part in the series does not, and could not, represent the West Indies, but rather represents Sir Allen Stanford – and Sir Allen Stanford alone.
This is the crux of the issue and forms the basis of the present dispute. Digicel’s contract with the WICB states that any team that “…represents, purports to represent or may reasonably be perceived as representing the West Indies…” falls within our Sponsorship Agreement with the WICB and, as such, Digicel’s full sponsorship rights and entitlements would apply.
As previously stated, Digicel applauds the 20/20 initiative by Sir Allen Stanford and remains willing to reach an amicable solution which is acceptable to all concerned. However, Digicel’s Agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board expressly reserves certain rights and entitlements which we believe are being openly infringed.
Digicel has tried everything to resolve this with both parties but, to date, we have not reached a resolution. Digicel remains committed to finding a solution that will ultimately be acceptable to all concerned; however, arrival at any solution will require dialogue between all of the parties involved.
Digicel’s commitment to advancing the cause of cricket in the West Indies began in 2004 and has included myriad development programmes and coaching initiatives along with considerable additional financial support.
The West Indies team represents the people of the West Indies and belongs to the people of the West Indies. Digicel’s efforts have always been directed towards the goal of bringing West Indies cricket back to the pinnacle of the game for the benefit of the sports-loving people of the West Indies. Digicel is proud of the role that we have played, and continue to play, in support of the West Indies team and cricket in the region.