Not our fault

Michael Hall says WIPA not at fault.

KINGSTON – Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Players Association Michael Hall has indicated that organisation should not be blamed for the delay in issuing retainer contracts to senior West Indies cricketers.

Hall was reacting to statements made by the WICB president Julian Hunte during a news conference on Monday claiming that WIPA had asked WICB not to issue contracts.

Hall accused the WICB of not providing assurances to WIPA on behalf of players who are to receive contracts.

“This must be done before October 1 each year, when the contracts are supposed to take effect,” Hall said.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between WIPA and the WICB requires the board to provide certain assurances to the players’ body.

The WICB president said on Monday at Kensington Oval that WIPA had not explained why it did not want the contracts to be issued.

“We have been asked by WIPA not to make any announcement just yet. WIPA has asked WICB not to issue the contracts. I honestly do not know the reason. They did not give a reason,” Hunte said.

“We are waiting for them and very soon we should get a response. We have not yet offered the contracts to the individuals.”

WIPA has often accused former chief executive officer Ernest Hilaire of ignoring the legal requirement of discussing the retainer contracts with WIPA. Earlier this month, the association wrote to acting CEO Verlyn Faustin, trying to resolve the dispute.

“This matter is of grave importance to the players who are to be retained by the WICB,” WIPA said in its email dated October 4.

“The contract date (October 1) has passed and the players will be anxious about their status, as well as their payments which fall due under these contracts.”

WICB has increased the number of players to receive contracts from 15 to 20. Leading off-spinner Sunil Narine is among those who has never had a retainer contract. This situation allowed him to opt to take up a lucrative IPL contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders rather than remain in the Caribbean and make himself available for the Australia Test tour.

A meeting between WIPA and WICB was scheduled for today in Jamaica. Discussions will also centre on terms and conditions, sponsors, match fees and players’ image rights.

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