West Indies cricketers threaten strike in India
West Indies cricketers may strike tomorrow over the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president and chief executive Wavell Hinds and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), ESPNcricinfo has reported.
In addition, the WICB said in a statement issued a few hours ago: "It has also come to the WICB's attention that the some of the players could withdraw their services for the first ODI. The WICB deeply regrets this apparent eventuality, especially in light of the tedious and substantial work which went into the good faith negotiations to arrive at the new, historic CBA/MOU,"
ESPN has reported that Dwayne Bravo, the players' representative, has reported that morale within the team is now extremely low as they prepare for the first ODI against India, to be played tomorrow Wednesday in Kochi.
"It is not yet clear whether the players would indeed go on strike during the India series which includes five ODIs and one Twenty20 followed by three Tests," the ESPN reported.
A letter from the players have warned that: "We wish to make it very clear that should the players be forced to take matters into their own hands, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action as see fit. We will hold you and the WIPA Board who support this process liable."
ESPN has stated that: "Bravo and his team-mates insisted that they would want the old structure back. Only because under the new MoU, the players "understand" their Test, ODI and T20 fees "have been decreased by 75%"; that they will receive "no compensation for the use of our rights. That has been decreased by 100%"; and their ICC fees have been "decreased by close to 100%.
"What irked the players the most, they said, was being kept in the dark about the "purported agreement." The letter stated that the first time any agreement was seen by the players was a match/tour contract with a new fee structure "significantly different from what we received in the past. This was given to us in India," Bravo said. It also said the players had been trying to seek answers for Hinds who had not responded, which prompted them to carry their own investigations after which they found out "little or no legal advice" had been taken by WIPA.
"The letter reveals that players felt they were never represented properly by WIPA under Hinds. "We are disappointed with the lack of proper representation and the players are now forced to make this proposal without any details as to how this new purported agreement was even arrived at and by whom, since the only advice we have received from you as President and CEO of WIPA is to not sign the contract /agreement that was sent by the WICB. The players are of the view that as a matter of principle, we should not accept these conditions whereby we are being asked to play a series against India without any certainty of what are our obligations and what we will be playing for."
On September 18, Hinds and WICB president Whycliffe "Dave" Cameron signed a fresh collective bargaining agreement and MoU in Barbados.
In the statement, the WICB said it "apologises to the fans, the BCCI and all other stakeholders should the first ODI be disrupted as a result of player action. The WICB is making every effort to ensure that it fulfills all its commitments and that cricket is played. The WICB further thanks the BCCI, the host board, for their understanding and pleads with fans to exercise calm and patience. The Board trusts that a reasoned approach is taken and that the interest of cricket is served. The Board will make further announcements as may be necessary".