WICB contracts have to be fair: Ramnarine

Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Bridgetown:While conceding that the deadlock with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over the retainer contracts had to be resolved at the earliest, Players Association (WIPA) President Dinanath Ramnarine stressed that the resolution had to be fair to the cricketers, who have until May 3 to sign up or be dropped from the side.

''We look forward to finalising the retainer contracts, but the process must be transparent and fair,'' the WIPA chief said in a statement issued here.

''The contracts have to be between the players and the Board and must result in an environment that is supportive and sustainable. We are going into the negotiations to ensure that the best interests of West Indies cricket are on the table and in the forefront all the time,'' Ramnarine added.

The WICB is scheduled to hold a fresh round of talks with the WIPA later today after an earlier meeting failed to produce any result. The board has warned that if the negotiations failed this time, the players would have to sign the contracts or face the axe.

Ramnarine said he does not want such a situation to arise but if it did then it would adversely affect the Windies preparations for the next year's World Cup and their Champions Trophy defence later this year.

''We want to ensure that we have the best team possible to defend the Champions Trophy which we so dramatically won against the odds, and to win the World Cup 2007 which is being played here, on our turf,'' Ramnarine said.

''We would not want anything to happen that will disrupt our march to victory. We want to make our people once more proud of West Indies cricket,'' he added.

Ramnarine said he was well aware of the passion associated with the game in the region and was hopeful that the issue of contracts would be resolved soon so that the cricketers could concentrate on their game.

''We recognise that in our region, cricket is more than a game, it is integral to our culture and way of life. We know how much cricket and success mean to our people everywhere in and out of the Caribbean,'' he said.

West Indies are scheduled to play Zimbabwe and India in the next two months and the controversy has cast a doubt over the availability of top players for the upcoming series.

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