Former cricket administrator says players should help foot India tour bill
West Indies players who pulled out of the tour of India last month should be made to shell out some of the $42 million in compensation being demanded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Former cricket administrator Jeff Broomes said while he hoped the BCCI would have a change of heart, if the money had to be paid it should not be the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) alone footing the bill.
“I feel if they insist on it, the players who withdrew their labour should be made to contribute towards that payment,” he insisted in an interview with Barbados TODAY.
A contractual dispute between the WICB and players led to the West Indies squad leaving India midway through their tour. They had three Tests, a fifth ODI and one Twenty20 match scheduled.
Broomes, a former first vice president of the Barbados Cricket Association, said that as close as he was to some of the players involved, he was “totally opposed” to their actions.
“This idea of just pulling your labour, I just don’t agree with that. Then again, I am not one about striking, I have never been a big supporter of that, but people might say that’s because people might strike on me from time to time,” said Broomes, who is also principal of the Parkinson Memorial School.
“I just feel that enough discussion was not entered into or enough collaboration and consultation entered into . . . I am very close to a number of [the players]; at least two of them are virtual sons of mine and I have a close relationship with most of them, but I feel that they were misguided on this one, I think they were wrong.”
Calling the Windies’ premature end to the India tour a “monumental disaster”, the BCCI last month slapped a US$41.97 million damages claim on the WICB.
The BCCI had also suspended bilateral relations with the Board until the dispute was resolved but the two sides are currently in talks.
Broomes said he believed it would be a struggle for the governing body for cricket in the region to find that money.
“In the Caribbean we put on a series [and] we struggle to make $3 million. Now, if they have said that we need to pay $42 million and if they insist on that, should the Board have to pay on their own? I don’t think so,” he said.
“But I just hope and I pray that with the discussions that are going on, at some point the Indians will understand that we really are in no position to pay that money.”
Earlier this month, the WICB reported progress in the talks with the BCCI on the matter and said it remained “confident that an amicable and mutually agreeable resolution can be had”.
Broomes, meantime, took the WICB’s side in the dispute that led to the players putting down their bats and balls after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala on October 17.
At the time, the players had cited the failure of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) and the WICB to respond convincingly to their questions related to the memorandum of understanding and collective bargaining agreement signed by the two parties the previous month.
Windies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo had insisted that, under the agreement, players stood to take a 90 per cent cut in their overall payment, but WICB president David Cameron said the new agreement rewarded the performers substantially and they stood to gain more. He said that under the deal, compensation would be based on players earning a percentage of WICB revenue; it created the opportunity for players to earn substantial amounts based on merit by implementing financial rewards for on-field performances; and it created the framework for WICB and WIPA to comprehensively address the use of players’ image rights so that both WICB and the players could benefit in relation to such usage.
Broomes said he did not understand why the WICB was being criticized.
“The players’ salaries have not been touched; if anything they have been improved . . . For people to criticize WIPA they are missing the boat, as far as I am concerned,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“WIPA does not only represent the 15 [who pulled out], WIPA represents about 200 and everything that has happened here, as far as I am concerned, has been done in the interest of the majority of WIPA members.”
Broomes expressed the hope that things would “work out in the interest of West Indies cricket”.