WICB hoping on cricket, not cash, to solve India impasse

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is hoping to negotiate a deal with the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) to have the controversial US$42 million claim repaid in matches and not cash.

WICB Chief Executive Officer, Michael Muirhead

WICB Chief Executive
Officer, Michael Muirhead

WICB Chief Executive Officer, Michael Muirhead said Tuesday the board would send a delegation to India with the main objective of negotiating a settlement which would be amicable, and would satisfy all parties.

“It could be that they could ask that instead of playing the Test matches that they play some more ODIs … it’s a matter of negotiations,” the Antigua Observer newspaper quoted Muirhead as telling the Observer Radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

“We have not gotten to sit down with them but we are planning for a delegation to go … and not just be high-handed and go in saying this is who we are bringing, sort of amenable to sitting down and letting us have reasonable negotiations.”

Muirhead said no talks had yet been initiated largely because of the BCCI’s recent elections which left the body without major positions, such as CEO and secretary, in place.

However, with that now sorted, the Jamaican said the WICB would be looking to set up a meeting to discuss the issue of settlement.

“They (new BCCI board) had their first meeting last weekend and I think this would have been an agenda item, and out of that, we are going to the next stage where they have promised that we are going to have a meeting,” Muirhead noted.

“The resolution is simple that we will have the payoff repaid in matches, cricket – not the numbers I hear being bandied about.”

Only in January, WICB president Dave Cameron wrote to the BCCI insisting on a “cricketing solution” to the impasse. He said the regional board was open to “bi-lateral or multi-lateral discussions” and also proposed mediation or some “other suitable form of [alternative dispute resolution] as may be appropriate.”

The BCCI are seeking US$42 million in damages to compensate for the cancelled one-day and Test tour last October, after West Indies one-day players pulled out of the planned five-match series following the fourth game in Dharamsala.

Their move forced the WICB to also pull the plug on the three-match Test series that was supposed to follow.

An infuriated BCCI subsequently blamed the WICB for the fracas and demanded the multi-million dollar compensation, threatening legal action if the payout was not forthcoming.