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IPL players may miss WI Tests


Haydn Gill

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A clash of dates is likely to force key West Indies players to miss part of the upcoming Test series against Australia and a subsequent tour of England.
While the players will be on show for the Digicel One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals against Australia from March 16 to 30, at least five of them will be jetting off to the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) that is scheduled for April 4 to May 27.
It will make some of them doubtful for the Tests against Australia from April 7 to 27 and a tour of England that starts on May 17, but West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) officials have started discussions with the players with a view of having them represent the regional team at some point during the conflict of matches.
The WICB has granted No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell to play in the IPL, and chairman of selectors Clyde Butts confirmed that some of the players would not play the entire series against Australia.
“Nobody can play in the IPL if they don’t get an NOC from the WICB. They will have to negotiate with the WICB. The chief executive officer has been open to negotiation with the players,” Butts said.
“If they should stay and play all of West Indies cricket or whether they play part of IPL . . .  I’m certain that you’re going to see some of the players playing part of IPL and some are going to stay and play for West Indies.”
A few weeks ago, WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire wrote to Chris Gayle advising him that the board was not prepared to grant him an unconditional NOC, instead stating its policy was to issue certain conditions that included a player making himself available for selection to the West Indies team once he was called up.
In view of so many West Indies players securing IPL contracts, Butts’ fellow selector Robert Haynes said the intention was to create a position that satisfied all parties.
“We are trying to strike a balance. We have to look at their earning capacity. This will be discussed with the selectors and the players,” Haynes said.

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