Windies cut short Indian tour over WIPA pay dispute
Dharamsala, India, CMC — The ongoing pay dispute between West Indies players and their union, WIPA, has forced the team to cut short their One-Day International tour of India, a move that has prompted an angry reaction from the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).
While there has been no announcement yet from the West Indies Cricket Board, the team will complete the fourth ODI which started Friday here and then return home.
They were expected to play a fifth ODI in Kolkata next Monday, a Twenty20 International two days later and a three-Test series beginning October 30th in Hyderabad
Attempts to reach the officials of the WICB were unsuccessful.
West Indies players in India have been locked in an impasse with WIPA over what they claim is a 65 per cent reduction in their earnings, stemming from the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding the union signed with the WICB.
They had also threatened strike action prior to the first ODI in Kochi but subsequently took the field.
Captain Dwayne Bravo, the players’ representative in the impasse, hinted at the latest development at the toss on Friday when he told TV commentators it was “time to make a decision.”
In a statement, the BCCI said it had been informed by the WICB that the tour would be cut short and that the team would return home immediately.
It also said it was “shocked and surprised” and also “extremely disappointed” at the WICB’s decision to cancel the tour.
“The West Indies Cricket Board has informed the BCCI of its decision to cancel the rest of its ongoing tour to India because of a dispute with its players, and has advised the BCCI that its players will return home immediately,” BCCI secretary, Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
“The BCCI is shocked and extremely disappointed at the decision taken by the WICB. The WICB’s inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved.
“The withdrawal gives little thought to the future of the game, the players and the long standing relations between the BCCI and the WICB.”
Patel described the decision to curtail the tour as a “unilateral decision taken by the WICB and its players” and said the BCCI would go to every length to protect their interests.
“The BCCI wishes to inform all its stakeholders, especially ardent fans of the Indian cricket team, that this is a unilateral decision taken by the WICB and its players, in spite of several appeals to the WICB to honour its commitment and complete the series,” Patel said.
“The BCCI will pursue all options available to protect its rights, whilst seeking appropriate action from the ICC to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion.”
The BCCI have wasted little time in finding a replacement for West Indies, drafting in Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series in November.