Windies players stand their ground over abandoned tour
Despite mounting criticisms over their decision to quit the tour of India prematurely, and in the face of threats of legal action by Indian authorities against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), some West Indies players have remained unmoved via social media over the stance they took.
Former captain in all three formats of the game and now skipper only of the Twenty20 side, Darren Sammy, took to his Instagram account and stressed his long-time loyalty and faithfulness to the West Indies but stated that he always stood for what was right.
“Always played with a smile on my face. Been loyal and faithful to WI. Took some serious criticism for it too but I stand for what’s right even when my back’s against the wall. All we ask for was to go back to the old structure for this tour while we talk. Did we have to come to this. A simple act of humanity is all it takes. Did u have to call off my #indiaTour #SMDH,” the caption stated.
Test captain and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin also expressed frustration over the issue via Twitter, stating that the stress had caused him many sleepless nights.
“How many nights without sleeping over this, it’s over now am going home to my amazing wife . . . . What happen in the DARK will always come out in the LIGHT so I ent worried ah bit. They will have to answer to God,” Ramdin said.
Ramdin lauded his teammates for their good efforts even while under a considerable amount of stress.
“Good effort to the guys after only 2 hours of sleep from all the stress last night. great innings my Marlon.”
Keiron Pollard also vented via Twitter.
He said: “Take a cut, take a reduction, take criticism, take licks for trying to be reasonable!! Who feels it knows it.”
Fast bowler Kemar Roach tweeted: “It’s not about the money, it’s about principle and respect.”
The West Indies Cricket Board directors are to meet in Barbados tomorrow for an emergency meeting and the future international careers of captain Dwayne Bravo and some, if not all his team-mates, could be on the line. ESPNcricinfo today quoted a WICB director who stated the players had embarrassed the Caribbean and brought “collective shame” to the region by their action in India. Efforts are also underway by the WICB to attempt to mend fences with the India authorities.
“We need to discuss, mainly to try and build the relationship back with the BCCI. We know that the BCCI will have no confidence in the WICB supplying a team again and no guarantee can be given in the present circumstances. The BCCI and the WICB have shared a good relationship. The BCCI officials should understand the situation and that the WICB had no other alternative but to do what it did. It was the players really to be blamed,” the WICB official is quoted.
The official also noted that the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) was the rightful place for Bravo and his men to engage in negotiations instead of seeking WICB intervention – only because the board would not bypass the player representative. The official noted that the MOU/CBA signed with the WICB was to benefit a greater core of players, rather than just those in the international line-up.
“We feel that WIPA, the legitimate representatives of players in the Caribbean, did what they feltwas right. They thought despite a lot of our players playing around the world [in different Twenty20 leagues] the standard of West Indies cricket was not raised. It continued to linger at the bottom edge of world cricket. And hence WIPA, in association with the WICB, decided to have 90 contracted players across the Caribbean to improve West Indies cricket. That is where the money, the players say they are losing, is going. It is not going into the pockets of the WICB bosses,” the director said.
The official said he would ask the board to seriously consider some disciplinary action against the players.
“Some just measures should be taken against the players. I would like especially the players who were part of the core group to call off this tour should be completely banned from participating in the IPL in future.” He said no such request from the WICB had been sent to the BCCI but that point was bound to be raised at the board meeting tomorrow.
But while the squabble over money continues, the WICB’s finances could also take a hit as moves appear afoot in India to cancel future tours with the West Indies. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said over the weekend that it would review its scheduled 2016 tour of the Caribbean.
“It will be very difficult to play West Indies in bilateral series in future. They have to demonstrate the willingness that such situations never happen again. I would say that India’s next tour of West Indies is highly unlikely to go ahead in the current situation,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.
West Indies are expected to host India in three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 early in 2016, a tour that was expected to be a financial windfall for the WICB. The BCCI is the world’s richest cricket board, with series involving India often attracting high global viewership. Millionaire businessman N Srinivasan, a former BCCI president, is now chairman of the International Cricket Council.
Patel said the BCCI intended to take steps to ensure it did not find itself in a similar situation again, with a team walking out on a bilateral series.
“We have suffered huge losses and the ICC is our parent body and we are going to ask them to ensure that this never happens in the future,” Patel said.
Meanwhile, Bravo and his team have come in for severe criticism from West Indies fast-bowling legend Andy Roberts.
Though stressing that he was no fan of the WICB and accusing it of past indiscretions, Roberts slammed the players, stating they could not hold the board to ransom.
“I am not at all happy. It is a sad day for West Indies cricket . . . . Our cricket is struggling to survive. The players should look back from where they have come and where they have reached today,” said Roberts.