Indian official denies deal between WICB, BCCI
A SENIOR OFFICIAL of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has flatly denied that his organisation has been negotiating with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the embattled WICB to pay part of the West Indies’ World Cup earnings over to India.
The Trinidad Guardian reported on Saturday that the BCCI will get part of the West Indies’ fee payment from World Cup matches in the 2015 event now going on in Australia and New Zealand.
The payments would go towards settling India’s claim of almost US$42 million made on the WICB after it aborted the tour of India last year with one limited over match and three Tests not played. The matter arose after the players and their union, the West Indies Players Association, got involved in a pay dispute that has haunted relations between both sides over the last decade and a half in particular.
The BCCI had said that it would institute court proceedings if the WICB did not settle the claim by early February of this year. No payment was made by the stipulated deadline, and the BCCI is now moving steadily to have the matter heard in court, although the WICB has told the BCCI that the courts in India, where the matter would have been filed, had no jurisdiction over it.
The senior BCCI official, who asked not to be named, as personnel from that organisation had pledged not to divulge information to the media because the matter was now a legal one, told the Jamaica Observer that there is no such agreement in place, nor is it likely that there will be.
“The matter is a legal one and the BCCI is pressing the button to have that US$41.97 million in compensation from the West Indies Cricket Board,” the official told the Observer late Saturday night from India.
“Since we last wrote to the West Indies Board in early February there has been no further communication, so it’s not true that a decision has been taken for the West Indies to start paying India from their World Cup earnings,” the official said.
The official, who during a discussion with the Observer when the newspaper visited that country in July of last year, had expressed “high quality” performances by the West Indies team on the tour later that year, said the people of India had been let down by the cancellation of the tour.
“We in India hold the West Indies team in high regard. Despite the fact that they are low on the world rankings, they have some of the great players of cricket representing the team. We are all still very disappointed that the tour ended the way it did. The people who are in charge of West Indies cricket did not handle the matter properly. We were promised a substitute team for the three Test matches when the problems started, but we didn’t want that, and the problems that were there were things that could be ironed out with the senior players,” the BCCI official said.
The official also criticised president of the WICB, businessman Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron for declining a request to meet with the West Indies players and the BCCI during the period of the dispute.
“Mr Cameron was in Dubai at the time and he did not see it as necessary to take the short flight to India and deal with the matter. It could have been handled better,” the official said.
It has still not been determined who aborted the tour — whether it was the WICB, or the players themselves. Both parties have blamed the other.
In the aftermath of the dispute, the WICB replaced its one-day team captain, Trinidad & Tobago national Dwayne Bravo with Barbadian Jason Holder, an inexperienced 23-year-old who has been enjoying mixed fortunes at the World Cup so far.
The India Board official also dismissed a suggestion by the Trinidad Guardian in the article written by Vinode Mamchan, that the WICB would likely send a team to tour that Asian country to play some “free” One-Day International matches, in either October or November of this year.
“That’s a figment of someone’s imagination. Like I said, there has been no discussion, no negotiation between the BCCI and the WICB, so I don’t know how it can be said that the West Indies could visit India later this year and play for free,” the official said.
The ICC is also said to be trying to mediate the matter.
The West Indies will next meet Zimbabwe in their third match of the current World Cup tournament today Jamaica time. Their meeting with India is on Thursday March 5 (local time) and they will also play South Africa (Thursday, February 26 local time) and the United Arab Emirates (Saturday, March 14 local time) in Pool B of the preliminary round. The top four of the seven teams will advance to the quarterfinals starting Tuesday, March 18 (local time).
Cameron, who is being challenged to lead the WICB for another two years by Barbadian cricket legend Joel Garner, was forced to make a public apology last weekend, following his retweet of negative comments suggesting a retirement package for Jamaican cricket star Chris Gayle, who has been experiencing lean form during the World Cup. (Jamaica Observer)