October 21, 2014
Players’ actions prompt WICB meeting today in Barbados

The fate of West Indies cricket lies in the hands of the directors of the West Indies Cricket Board, who are set to meet in Barbados today, Tuesday, October 21.{{more}}

The WICB has been jolted into a caucus, following the pull-out of the senior men’s team from the tour of India last Friday.

And, with the ramifications of the players’ action at the core of the meeting, the board members would have to decide what course of action will be taken against the players, as well as how to mend the relationship with the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).

Reports are that the BCCI is mulling over its International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme, set for the Caribbean during February and March 2016, to engage the West Indies in three Tests, five One Day Internationals and a Twenty/20 International.

Additionally, it has been reported that the BCCI may be seeking compensation in the vicinity of US$65 million for the aborted tour, which would have included five ODI’s, three tests and a solitary Twenty/20 International.

According to the players, at the centre of the discontentment is the recent Memorandum of Understanding between the WICB and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), the trade union which represents the players.

Things boiled over last Friday, during the fourth ODI, when it was decided by the players to scrap the tour and return to the Caribbean.

Captain of the ODI team Dwayne Bravo, who acted as spokesperson for the players in India, noted that the players had not accepted the payment agreement signed on their behalf by the West Indies Players Association.

It is understood that the players were dissatisfied that the US$35,000 per day payment by advertising team sponsors Digicel, would no longer come to them, but be used to fund the new Caribbean Professional League (CPL).

A source close to happenings informed SEARCHLIGHT that many of the players, including Bravo, who are now grousing, were at meeting in Trinidad in February, and had given their approval to the CPL.

The source also told SEARCHLIGHT that WIPA was in regular contact with the players in India and assured them that the concerns were being looked at.

But the source said that the players were to benefit, as apart from their retainer fees, which range from US$80,000 to US$120,000 per annum and match fees, there were incentives in place for series wins, players taking 10 wickets, batsmen making 50’s, 100’s, among other performance focused perks.

Meanwhile, Elson Crick, a WICB director, speaking on radio last Saturday night, confirmed that a delegation from the WICB and WIPA, which would have also included WICB president Wycliffe Cameron, WIPA president Wavell Hinds and Julian Charles, was set to go India to meet with the players there, and have the matters sorted out.

Crick noted that the issue of pay was not the substantive matter, and contended that the removal of Wavell Hinds, as president of WIPA, was the main plot.

Bravo had indicated in one of his letters that the players in India were no longer interested in WIPA being their bargaining agent. Since the pull-out by the West Indies, the BBCI has received confirmation that Sri Lanka would fill the void.

The November 1 to 15 tours by Sri Lanka will involve a five-match ODI series.(RT)