WICB confirms tri-series participation

Published: Saturday, August 5, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's:The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), while accepting the invitation to play in the tri-series against India and Australia, has sent direct invitations to the team selected to play in the tournament after negotiations to settle the pay-hike with the players' association broke down mid-way.

''The WICB has accepted the invitation from the BCCI to participate in the tri-nation series. In the event that any of the players do not accept the invitation by August 10 to play in the series, a suitable replacement will be chosen,'' the Windies board said in a statement here.

Brian Lara, who in a major climb down recently apologised to the WICB for his scathing criricism of the selectors after the Test series loss to India, has been retained as captain of the side, which also includes Dwyane Bravo.

Bravo was not given a retainer contract by the board because of his association with the rivals of WICB's official sponsors.

Meanhwhile, the WICB revealed that talks with the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) have once again failed owing to their ''unreasonable demands''. The Board said direct invitations have been sent to the players after negotiations broke down on Wednesday.

''On this occasion the invitations have been sent directly to the players, for in spite of our best efforts it has not been possible to reach agreement with their representative, Mr Dinanath Ramnarine,'' the WICB statement said.

''Negotiations between Mr Ramnarine and the WICB representative, Mr Deryck Murray broke down on Wednesday, August 2 and later discussions between Mr Ramnarine and WICB President, Mr Kenneth Gordon failed to break the stalemate,'' it added.

Expressing its urgency to settle the squad as soon as possible for the September series, the WICB said it has already exceded the deadline set to confirm participation. The board said the players who choose to participate in the tournament would get a 488 per cent hike in their earnings.

''It has now become imperative that we act if we are to participate in this series because of the tight timelines between now and the September tournament. In fact, the original timeline given to us has already been exceeded.

''The offer made to the players will earn them between 25,000 dollars+ at the lower end of the scale to 59,000 dollars+ at the higher end of the scale, net of expenses for four ODIs with the prospect of each player earning an additional 50 percent on these fees if the West Indies qualifies for the final. This represents an unprecedented 488 per cent on normal match tour fees,'' the Board said.

The WICB said the hike has been made due to the one-off nature of the series and the its own commitment to enhance earnings of players. The board said WIPA had asked for a hike of 847 per cent, which it found totally unacceptable and therefore decided to extend direct invitations to the players.

''The demands being made on behalf of the players were 40,000 dollars at the lower end of the scale and 95,000 dollars at the higher end of the scale, representing 40 per cent of the net revenue to be paid to the WICB and a premium of 847 per cent on normal match tour fees. The Board considers that demand totally unacceptable,'' the statement added.

The tri-series will be played in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in September before the Champions Trophy. Australia have already confirmed their participation for the event.

Players invited by the WICB: Brian Lara (Captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Carlton Baugh, Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds

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