Players blame WICB for crisis

DHARAMSALA – The West Indies players have said the WICB was responsible for the decision to pull out of their ongoing tour of India because of a dispute over the payment structure. In a letter to WICB president Dave Cameron, West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo wrote the players were “disheartened and extremely disappointed” that the board had decided to engage with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) despite the players’ instruction not to do so with regard to discussions on their behalf.

Dwayne Bravo and the West Indies players have continued to voice their displeasure over a revised pay structure.
Dwayne Bravo and the West Indies players.

The failure to heed the players’ appeal and to find a resolution to the payment-structure dispute, which the players felt left them disadvantaged, was a “grave injustice”, according to Bravo and had left to the decision to abandon the tour after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala.

West Indies’ participation in the tour of India had been in doubt before the first ODI in Kochi, when the players expressed concerns about the new memorandum of understanding (MoU) and combined business agreement signed by WICB and WIPA in September. The players felt that under the new structure their payments would be affected adversely by as much as 90 per cent.

Acting as the players’ representative, Bravo sought answers from WIPA chief executive and president Wavell Hinds to questions over the MoU, which the captain said the players had not seen to date. Bravo asked Hinds to step down, a demand that was refused. Bravo then sought WICB’s help to resolve the matter, but Cameron responded on saying the board would communicate only with WIPA as the players representative. That step from WICB, Bravo said, forced the players to take the extreme measure of pulling out of the tour.

“We were truly hoping that the WICB together with WIPA and/or the players would do everything in their power to seriously address the concerns of the players. Regrettably, this has not happened,” Bravo wrote in an email to Cameron before the fourth ODI.

“Mr President, having taken the field in good faith, [we] appealed to WIPA to address our concerns to no avail and asked the WICB to demonstrate with action, what is often bandied about in words, namely that they are interested in player welfare and partnership, it seems to us that there has been no reciprocal action

“As a consequence and as a matter of principle, we cannot be party to this grave injustice. The players regretfully wish to advise that they can no longer accept this situation, which has affected each and every player in a very negative way. The players are under tremendous stress and undue pressure. We have informed the manager and coach of our decision to return home with the hope that these issues will be addressed to the satisfaction of all.”

In the letter to Bravo where he said the WICB would only deal with the WIPA as the players representative, Cameron had asked the team to focus on the task at hand: “complete the series successfully”. Bravo, however, told Cameron the players had only played the first four ODIs “in good faith” but that stance could not be misinterpreted as their acceptance of the MoU.

“Our decision to play in India was in no way intended to convey an acceptance by the players of the unreasonable terms and conditions put forward to us by WICB nor was it intended as an expression of our acceptance of the purported new Memorandum of Understanding.”

In his communication to Cameron and Hinds, Bravo had said that until the dispute was resolved, the players should be paid under the old structure, which would benefit all parties. Cameron did not agree and argued in the favour of the new MoU.

“For the record, I would point out to you our view that the new MOU/CBA creates a clear, sustainable, long-term compensation structure, so that we avoid the uncertainties and confusion associated with [the] previous one – off negotiations on a case-by-case basis and the loose, informal arrangements of the past.”

Cameron also had indicated the WICB would be happy “mediating the apparent issues between yourselves and WIPA – and are willing if invited, to do so” but only under the new guidelines set under the September MoU. Bravo, however, asked how the WICB could play a mediating role when it was party to the agreement players did not accept.

“We note your offer to mediate since in your view this is a matter between WIPA and its members. We wish to state that while you may have been well intended, the offer to mediate on a document that the WICB is a party to cannot be entertained,” Bravo said.

The players have been angered by Hinds’ claim that a resolution was passed approving the new pay structure at a WIPA AGM, which was attended by senior West Indies players Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan, on February 1. Bravo has been adamant in his exchanges with Hinds that no vote was taken and no resolution passed.

Bravo told Cameron the players were not against reform and would support WICB as long as they were brought on board.

“The players’ issue is that there has been no resolution, no mandate, no consultation, no prior Board approval as far as WIPA is concerned and yet there is an agreement of unreasonable terms and conditions. In addition to the issue of deficient representation, there is a case that the purported MOU may be wholly unjust and unfair and the new salary structure is untenable. In these circumstances, the players feel there is sufficient basis to ask for its termination and its renegotiation.”

The fourth ODI in Dharamsala began with the West Indies players standing beside Bravo at the toss while their captain said, “Time to make a decision,” and news of the pullout broke during the first innings.

10 Responses to Players blame WICB for crisis

  1. Desmond Edwards
    Desmond Edwards October 18, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Hope the players thought about the possible repurcussions n that they careers are literally over . Well careers at cricketers…..

  2. Curtis Brewster
    Curtis Brewster October 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Clearly Mr.Bravo is a poor leader and has no knowledge of collective bargaining or negotiations.If WIPA was the accepted agent for the players and the board received no correspondence from the players saying otherwise,what should they have done?And the board is now exposed to a massive lawsuit from BCCI.This could have been handled better.I have been saying for a while now that if they,the players were unhappy with WIPA,fire them as agent and hire a corporate lawyer,they make enough money to have one on retainer.

  3. Desmond Edwards
    Desmond Edwards October 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    But Curtis Brewster the Board also took the players for granted ..this thing was brewing even for the two warm up matches ..n then the Board sided with WIPA …someone shus have been in India long time … No one wins here …As I see it WI is DONE …..NO winners…. There is an article on Cricinfo … BCCI looking to recoup as much as $ 63 mill as a result of the tour cancelled

    • Curtis Brewster
      Curtis Brewster October 19, 2014 at 7:08 am

      What take for granted?Aren’t both parties obligated to function under the existing contract until it is revised?I would think so!

  4. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls October 18, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Man all u wanna lef the people place.

  5. Ryan A. Gittens
    Ryan A. Gittens October 19, 2014 at 8:29 am

    West Indies cricket is done. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    And its fitting how it ended. These guys have been under performing for years and getting all kinds of big money.

    I have no problem paying you what you are due or think you are worth but you need to perform or at best make the effort to show me that you are worth what you want to be paid.

    Look at the bright said, Bravo could now focus on his music video career with the other jokers guest starting. See how much they make from that. Best of luck now boys.

  6. Sydney Arthur October 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

    The WICB has to be held responsible for the cessation of the India tour. Even if the players or WIPA acted inappropriately, at the end of the day the WICB is responsible for the direction, reputation, – international image of West Indies cricket. In addition, they are also responsible for the team’s playing schedule, as well as the terms and conditions under which players play. From this perspective, the WICB, having the future interest of West. Indies cricket as their main objective, should have taken steps to ensure that the tour was completed, instead of sticking to the line that they would only communicate with the players through WIPA.

  7. Julia S M-h
    Julia S M-h October 19, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Those sexy players keep work up

  8. Tony Waterman October 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    @Curtis Brewster!!!!! NOT true at all, yes WIPA is the accepted agent for the players, but that does not give them the right to accept deals without first passing it by the people they represent, this is where we have this BIG problem now. they are NOT the MASSA and their members the SLAVES.
    W.I Cricket may be done, i doubt that very much, but the Players have an opportunity to still make a Living at Cricket. The Big Bash, The IPL, The CPL.

  9. Rawle Roachford October 21, 2014 at 4:52 am

    The WICB should of never change their name from West Indies Cricket Board Of Control. The game would not be in disrepute now with these money hungry guys.


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