He doesn’t have a clue why he has been stripped of the captaincy of the Barbados senior national cricket team.
And in an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY, the talented West Indies middle-order batsman made it known he was unaware of the reasons for his replacement. Edwards said he would like some answers from the authorities, even as some in the Barbados Cricket Association claimed the BCA’s board met with him on the matter.
“Nobody even contacted me to tell me anything about it,” he stressed, adding that he only learnt about his replacement from friends who found out through the media.
When Barbados TODAY contacted chairman of selectors, Hendy Wallace, for an explanation, he made it clear that his selection panel had no role in the matter and pointedly stated that it was a decision made solely by the BCA board.
Pressed as to why the board would have made such a decision, even after Edwards had led Barbados to victory in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional Four-Day Tournament last season, Wallace said while he had not been privy to the meeting, he believed that Edwards had met with the BCA board. Of Edwards’ sacking, Wallace said he was convinced “it was [because of] matters arising [off-field] that they had issues with him relative to last season”.
However, Edwards was insistent that no such meeting with the BCA board occurred and asserted that he was not aware of any reported infraction he was said to have committed.
“I am not aware of anything, I was not reported for anything, I was not called for a hearing about anything. If I did something and it was reported I think that I should have been called in for a meeting. But I wasn’t called in for anything that I did last year – nothing like this, so I am not aware,” he said.
Edwards added: “I didn’t meet with any board, that is a lie. Nobody from the board met with me. I didn’t get any information from them. Nobody called me, I had no meeting. I can’t say I am surprised because I’ve been through worse but by the same token I am a bit surprised. But right now I am in no position to speak about it because I don’t even know why and I think a lot of other people would like to know why but nobody is saying anything. I thought that if I did something they would come out and say why, so I don’t know why.”
Edwards, who was first spotted as a promising 15-year-old by former West Indies opener and then selector Desmond Haynes, has played 12 Test matches and 11 One-Day Internationals. He has captained the West Indies A team, has served previously as vice-captain of the West Indies senior squad, and is seen in many quarters as a future West Indies captain.
Stressing his commitment to Barbados and West Indies cricket, the 29-year-old was adamant that he would not allow the BCA board’s decision stop him from representing Barbados with “heart like I always do”.
“My role now is to bat and field and just be there for any young player who needs that advice. But my role is definitely not to be the captain anymore,” he said.
When Barbados TODAY quizzed the BCA’s chief executive officer Rollins Howard about the reason behind Edwards’ dismissal, his blunt response was: “He was replaced because the board replaced him, that is the reason, that is the only answer I can give you.”
Manager of the Barbados team last year, Hartley Reid, while maintaining that Edwards did perform well as captain in 2013, however noted that the replacement of captains, even after a good performance, was nothing new. He drew reference to a situation where Ryan Hinds was replaced twice as captain and suggested there were other options to Edwards.
“There are a number of other competent players out there . . . ,” he stated.
Earlier this week former Barbados cricketer Geoffrey Mapp said the manner in which Edwards was removed from the captaincy was a clear indication that the BCA did not understand a cricketer had industrial rights.
He said the BCA’s action clearly showed their leadership was operating in a past era. He stated Edwards’ dismissal highlighted one of the fundamental issues affecting West Indies cricket.
“In my opinion the West Indies Cricket Board and the bodies that govern cricket in the region continue to see their relationship as one between master and servant and until that perception is changed West Indies cricket will continue to slide downhill,” Mapp stressed, while pouring shame on other Barbadian cricketers for their silence on the treatment meted out to Edwards.