Windies sack Lara and six others

Published: Monday, March 7, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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St. John's:Skipper Brian Lara and six other players were axed from the West Indies squad for the forthcoming series against South Africa and Pakistan.

Lara as well as Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith and Ravi Rampaul were all missing from the list of 22 players named by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The decision to drop the seven is a result of the ongoing row between the WICB and the players who have individual sponsorship deals with Cable and Wireless while the Board's backer is Digicel.

However, the seven could still find their way back into the reckoning after Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell announced he was calling a meeting on Monday between WICB president Teddy Griffith, West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine as well as officials from the two sponsors.

A statement from the WICB said that a letter of invitation (to the players named in the squad) was accompanied by a contract and the players have been requested to respond to the invitation by March 11.

Despite the impasse, Lara said he was confident that the row could be resolved.

"If I can help, I am prepared to speak to anyone, anywhere and at any time, but I suggest with respect that positive action is needed now," Lara told the Trinidad Express.

"Time is not on our side and hatchets have to be buried with haste if indeed there are hatchets to be buried.

"Let us sit and dialogue with goodwill and sensitivity and generosity of thought. Let us admit there is something called 'another point of view' which deserves respect and should be listened to, even if we disagree.

"Let us do everything to create a win-win situation and prevent a lose-lose situation. In my frank opinion, it will be one of the two. I do not think a win-lose result will go down well.

"I have great faith in the proceedings scheduled for Monday."

The 22 players will meet for a training camp in Barbados from March 23-28 during which the West Indies team will be selected.

The first Test against South Africa starts in Guyana from March 31.

West Indies squad:

Devon Smith, Wavell Hinds, Xavier Marshall, Ryan Ramdass, Darren Ganga, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ryan Hinds, Narsingh Deonarine, Darren Sammy, Donavon Pagon, Courtney Browne, Denesh Ramdin, Carlton Baugh Jr, Ian Bradshaw, Dave Mohammed, Pedro Collins, Corey Collymore, Dwight Washington, Reon King, Darren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Tino Best.

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