Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Gaston Browne has said that Caribbean Community governments are ready, on invitation, to serve as mediator in the current stand-down between the West Indies players and the West Indies Cricket Board.
The Caricom head has termed the sudden end of the team’s tour to India a matter of distress, saying it has damaged the region’s cricket reputation.
This in a statement released over the weekend following what was West Indies fifth and last match of a scheduled tour 11, arranged between the hosting Board of Control for Cricket in India and the West Indies Cricket Board. The West Indies played two warm-up 50-overs matches – they lost both – against India A and three of the first four One-Dayers versus India – the third abandoned because of cyclonic weather at the venue. One one-dayer, one T20 and three Tests remained to be played.
The West Indies 15-player squad, captained by Dwayne Bravo, who has been the main man in last week’s flurry of email exchanges between himself, as players’ representative, and the Board, made good on their pre-tour third match threat to withhold their services unless answers were forthcoming and quickly, essentially on reasons behind player pay-cuts amounting to an estimated 75 per cent.
The players’ concerns were directed to their West Indies Players Association’ President and Chief Executive Officer Wavell Hinds who in September was known to have signed off on a Collective Bargaining Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding with the West Indies Board.
In an email to the Board Bravo claimed players have been “hoodwinked” and were calling for Hinds’ resignation while also requesting the Board to not treat with him on matters pertaining to their cricketing welfare.
The Board responded to Bravo that it recognised the Hinds-led Players Association as the players’ bargaining whip and no one else.
The Caricom Head said CARICOM governments are not aware of the circumstances of the division between the Board and the players and, were making no pronouncement about them but he said Governments regret that the Board and the players did not settle their differences before the tour of India began.
“The display of these domestic differences in such an internationally public way does no credit to West Indian cricket in its entirety,” The Antigua-Barbuda Prime Minister Browne stated.
The Caricom Chairman said governments urge the Board and the players to work swiftly to effect a lasting settlement to their disputes, bearing in mind the importance of cricket to the people of the West Indies to whom they have a national and regional responsibility.