Cricket

Walsh bats for safeguards to prevent Sabina repeat

SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 14, 2013    

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FORMER West Indies captain Courtney Walsh says he will take steps to ensure that there is no repeat of an incident that saw him refused entry to a section of Sabina Park during the four-day game between Jamaica and the Combined Campuses and Colleges over two weeks ago.

"My main aim is to ensure that whatever happens from here we put something in place so no one gets embarrassed again," the 50-year-old told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.

The Jamaican said he wants the matter to be addressed at an upcoming meeting of regional cricket stakeholders.

"There is a meeting of the West Indies Cricket Committee that I'm on. That's at the highest level... I'm going to take it to that level.

"Once that discussion is done... (I want) something done across the region so that none of our regional people who have represented the West Indies at the highest level (have a similar experience)... (I am) hoping we can put something in place so (there is no) repeat," the cricket ambassador said.

The Observer was first to publish that the fast-bowling legend was blocked from entering a section of Sabina Park's North Stand on April 26 because he failed to provide the requisite identification or a pass.

In the story spotlighted the day after the incident, the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) secretary Fritz Harris said the towering Walsh was not recognised by security personnel when he tried to gain entry. Harris added that "strict instructions" were given beforehand "not to allow people without IDs to enter".

Walsh, whose name rests proudly at the northern bowling end of the venue, was said to be quite upset at the time the incident took place. On Saturday the former West Indies bowling standout labelled the episode as "very unfortunate", but said he accepted an apology put forward by the JCA president Lyndel Wright.

"It's a very unfortunate incident.

"Lyndel Wright sent me an e-mail with an apology... I replied to him that I have accepted it. As far as I am concerned, that's it in terms of that chapter," he said coolly.

Walsh played 132 Test matches for the West Indies between 1984 and 2001 and took 519 wickets at an average of 24.44.

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