While the Trinidad and Tobago women’s football team awoke this morning after the night in which they qualified for the key semifinal round of the CONCACAF Cup championship in the United States, the 15-player squad and staff of the West Indies cricket team, who on Friday aborted their playing tour of India over a pay dispute, rose to face a day, today, when their move, frowned upon by the governing West Indies Cricket Board, will come under laser-beam scrutiny by the 18-member directorate of the Board, meeting in Barbados.
Trinidad and Tobago national Dwayne Bravo, captain of the team and the players’ representative in the issue, is considered a prime target for punishment for leading the team revolt against the Board’s wishes.
POWER SPORTS could not confirm whether Bravo and/or the team staff headed by manager Richie Richardson will be made to put in an appearance at today’s Directors’ caucus.
Another pressure situation for Trinidad and Tobago nationals in sport comes up this evening in Haiti as the national Under 17 football team, beaten by St Lucia 2-nil in their Caribbean Football Union’s Championship finals opening match in Haiti on Sunday, must rebound with a win over Barbados today to hold a chance of qualifying for the finals stage.
But while any decision of the West Indies cricket directorate may be made late today, there is concern about the immediate future of West Indies senior team schedules which include an Australia tour to the region next year.
Already with the pullout from India, the fate of West Indies November to January tour of South Africa hangs in the balance.
Wally Edwards, Cricket Australia’s chairman, described the Windies situation as “deeply concerning” and said it was one that needed to be urgently addressed.
“The situation that has just unfolded, with the West Indian players abandoning the remainder of the Indian tour, is deeply concerning for a game that needs strong cooperation for its survival,” Edwards said.
Australia are scheduled to tour the Caribbean starting in May next year, playing two Tests and three ODIs.
Edwards said it was important that walkouts, like the one staged by West Indies players, be avoided in the interest of world cricket.
“Situations such as these have to be avoided at all costs because, ultimately, those that are affected most are the people that the game depends on so heavily – cricket lovers, key broadcasters and commercial partners.
International media reports have bandied around figures of up to US$65 million, which the BCCI could claim in losses.
Meanwhile the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) seems unlikely to escape a lawsuit over the players’ sudden abandonment of the Indian tour.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) interim president, N. Shivlal Yadav, said yesterday that all indications pointed towards court action.
Shivlal Yadav will chair a high-level meeting of the BCCI’s working committee today, which will decide on appropriate action for the West Indies, who walked out of the tour following last Friday’s fourth one-day international (ODI) in Dharamsala.