Sponsor row casts a doubt over Windies~~ Lankan tour

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:The sponsorship row which almost ended Caribbean tour of Australia in January and forced a below-strength team to play South Africa in a Test in March has resurfaced and is casting doubts over West Indies' upcoming Sri Lankan tour.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) gave contracts to 13 players to sign by Tuesday, but only three players returned their contracts thereby re-igniting a dispute over endorsements that began late last year.

The source refused to say which three players signed, but they appeared to include Brian Lara.

On Sunday, the Board invited 13 players to sign by Tuesday, saying it acted after talks with the West Indies Players' Association "broke down."

The Board planned a teleconference later today, and could determine whether the Sri Lanka tour goes ahead, said a source in the Board who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source said the Board could use the three signed players plus a West Indies 'A' team already in Sri Lanka to meet obligations.

West Indies are scheduled to play two Tests, in Colombo from July 14-18 and in Kandy from July 22-26, and compete in a Limited Overs tri-series which also involves India apart from the host nation.

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