WICB clears the air
The West Indies Cricket Board has issued the following statement regarding the team’s tour of India.
St John’s – The board of directors of the West Indies Cricket Board held an emergency meeting by teleconference today to discuss the developments with regard to the West Indies tour of India.
The board of directors was briefed of the latest developments and as a result of decisions taken the WICB advises:
1. The WICB clarifies that players in the West Indies Squad currently in India represented by Mr Dwayne Bravo indicated to the WICB through the West Indies Team Management that the players have taken a decision to withdraw their services for the remainder of the tour of India. As a result of this action by the players the WICB was left with no option but to advise the BCCI that it will no longer be able to provide a West Indies team for the remaining five matches (5th ODI, T20 International, three Test matches).
2. The WICB wishes to further clarify that its proposed alternative arrangement of a replacement West Indies team was not considered acceptable. The WICB is understanding of this position.
3. The WICB unreservedly apologises to West Indian fans and all cricket fans for this most regrettable situation and the premature end to the tour.
4. The WICB unreservedly apologises to the BCCI, their sponsors, broadcasters and other stakeholders for the premature end to the tour.
5. The WICB thanks the BCCI, their sponsors, broadcasters, other stakeholders and fans for their patience and understanding during the first four ODIs. The WICB wishes the BCCI every success with the proposed alternative arrangements and looks forward to the continuation of the strong and longstanding relationship between the two boards.
6. The WICB clarifies further that as a result of postulations by the players, the tour was under a cloud of uncertainty from the inception. The WICB, acting prudently, advised the host board – BCCI – of the developments and remained in constant contact to provide updates as to the threat of possible player action.
7. The WICB will host an emergency Board Meeting on Tuesday October 21, in Barbados, to conduct a thorough assessment of all the ramifications of the premature end to the tour and any action which may be necessary therefrom. The WICB will host a media conference following this meeting. Further details will be provided upon confirmation.
8. The WICB regrets that the delegation which was pre-scheduled to travel to India to meet with the players on a number of issues will no longer be able to conduct such meeting at which the intention was also to discuss the concerns of the players. The delegation had included WICB Chief Executive Officer Mr Michael Muirhead, Chairman of the Cricket Committee Mr Julian Charles and also WIPA President and CEO Mr Wavell Hinds. The delegation had been scheduled to arrive in India on Monday October 20. This meeting was scheduled prior to any issues being raised with the New MOU/CBA and it was intended to acquaint all the parties of how it would roll out. This was necessary as the WICB did not have an opportunity to so do in the Caribbean due to the logistical challenges of assembling all the players prior to departure for the tour of India (some of the players were already in India participating in the Champions League). The WICB CEO, Mr Muirhead and WIPA President/CEO Mr Hinds had been in negotiations with regard to finding a mutually agreeable position to allow for the full tour to be completed.
9. The WICB further regrets that in his initial communication to the WIPA President and CEO Mr Hinds, Mr Bravo chose to use inflammatory language and issue a clear threat to cause injury to West Indies cricket.
Specifically Mr. Bravo wrote: “Please note that we are giving you the opportunity to right this wrong before things deteriorate [sic] to such an extent that West Indies cricket to the wider cricket world looks to fall to its knees again.”
10. The WICB reiterates that as a result of the action taken by the players the Board was forced with no other option but to discontinue the tour. The Board once again apologises unreservedly for the premature end to the tour.
Finally, the WICB advises that the West Indies “A” Team tour of Sri Lanka continues as scheduled.