Tensions between the WICB and the West Indies players have eased, and a way forward found, following meetings over the weekend, Caribbean newspapers have reported. That could mean West Indies’ scheduled tour to South Africa in December will go ahead without hiccups.
According to the reports, the WICB and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) will now renegotiate the players’ contracts, with the players now having a say in payment matters, and WIPA and its chief Wavell Hinds will continue to represent the players’ interests. Also, it was reported, a three-man task force has been created to deal with the BCCI’s demands off the WICB. The committee reportedly comprises former West Indies cricketer and Barbados politician Wes Hall, Barbados chief justice and former prime minister David Simmons, and lawyer and Trinidad & Tobago politician Kenneth Lalla, and will go to work immediately given the BCCI’s 15-day deadline for the WICB to respond to its claim of US$41.97m.
The meeting was said to be attended by WICB president Dave Cameron, players Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin and their legal representative Ralph Thorne, as well as St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Ralph Gonsalves and Grenada prime minister Keith Mitchell.
Reports also said the players were assured at the meeting that they would not be “victimised” for cutting their tour to India short.
West Indies had withdrawn from their tour to India in October with one ODI, one Twenty20 and three Tests pending, due to issues the players had with the payment structures under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the WICB and WIPA earlier in the year. During the tour to India ODI captain Bravo had written letters on the matter, on behalf of the players, to WIPA chief Hinds and the WICB, saying the players’ trust had been breached since they were not privy to the changes being brought in. Several exchanges among the three parties had ensued, and the players finally withdrew from the tour after the Dharamsala ODI since no middle ground was found. Subsequently, the BCCI had suspended bilateral tours to the West Indies and demanded financial compensation.
(ESPN Sports Media Ltd.)