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Rifts Between West Indies players & WICB
West Indies players and board engaged over a bitter Money dispute it started in 2005 when West Indies team added a clause which stated that all sponsorship right of WICB team will be handled by Board.
Board bought Digicel as sponsor though most of the player had a contract with Cables & wireless which resulted in loss of revenue for players.
On September 19, 2014, West Indies Player’s Association (WIPA) President Wavell Hinds signed an agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) – having 105 players engaged in cricket all year round, 15 at the WICB level i.e. international and 90 players at the regional franchise level – 15 players among the six teams.
West Indies players lead by ODI captain Dwayne Bravo Opposed West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president and chief executive Wavell Hinds, who they claim “hoodwinked” them and did not take their inputs while signing a new memorandum of understanding.
Bravo and team were still in favor of old structure as the new structure lead to huge salary cut for the players and no pay for medical expenses etc which are covered by most of the Board in world. Following new structure , players faced monetary loss as provided below :
- Test/ODI/T20 fees have been decreased by 75%
- Compensation for the use of rights decreased by 100%
- ICC fees have been decreased by close to 100%
West Indies Cricketer wanted WICB President, Dave Cameron to resign the post and he was not ready to do it. This dispute resulted in West Indies pulling out of the India Tour with 1 ODI, 1 T20 and 3 Test Matches still to play, forced BCCI to ban bilateral matches with West Indies which has now been lifted subject to the condition that they complete the commitments of the previous abandoned tour.
Even Gayle faced disciplinary charge as he slammed the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel for dropping the pair of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from West Indies’ 2015 World Cup squad, calling the move “ridiculous”. And it was surprising that World Cup squad was captained by newcomer Jason Holder despite of having experienced players in the team.
West Indies legend Brian Lara said a lack of trust is causing the deadlock between the players and the West Indies board, and calls for better communication between the two parties.
Regarding World T20 2016 Darren Sammy, captain of the West Indies T20 side wrote to WICB that they are going to represent West Indies in terms they had done earlier considering that 14 out of 15 man squad are not part of WIPA and had not given authorization to WIPA to negotiate on our behalf.
Last over heroic from Carlos Brathwaite won Second WT20 title for West Indies and Captain Sammy filled with emotion dedicated win to 15 man squad and coaching staff, praised CARICOM and disclosed his disappointed over no message or calls from WICB even after winning World Cup. After winning trophy, Dwayne Bravo supported his captain mentioning that BCCI supports them more than their own board and termed WICB as most unprofessional board.
Reacting to the strong criticism thrown at him and his board, the WICB president Dave Cameron announced that he would meet the players after the IPL at the annual review in June to find a “common ground” where the “best” players can represent the region in all formats.
But story didn’t ended here….Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy raised questions on selectors for ignoring them for ODI tri-series against Australia and South Africa. Darren Sammy felt surprise on Pollard’s selection despite not playing domestic super 50 and ODI since 2014 and he also raised question on Narine’s selection who was stopped by board from playing super 50 and now, board itself picks him for tri-series. Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles, who averaged 13 and 18 respectively with the bat in the Super50, get selected over Evin Lewis, the best opener in competition : these are other surprises.
Now question arises, why these things are happening in West Indies cricket ? Is WICB really unprofessional or players lack discipline? Actually, Split from WICB is not a solution. Instead better administration and support is needed. Hence, both players and board is wrong at some extent. Board should pay their players at least acceptable amount and players should also prefer domestic league that would generate revenue for board from ads, sponsors etc. Last but not the least, both board and players must maintain proper respect for each other.
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