West Indies cricketers relent, play first ODI

Updated: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 14:55 [IST]
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WI cricketers relent, play 1st ODI

Kochi, Oct 8: After threatening to go on a strike ahead of the ODI series against India, the West Indies cricket team today decided not to boycott the opening match though skipper Dwayne Bravo insisted that the side reserves the right to take the "best course of action" over an "unresolved" pay dispute with the Board.

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Skipper Dwayne Bravo came out for the toss to put an end to the speculation that the Caribbeans would boycott the series to protest against the contracts handed out to them by the West Indies Cricket Board.

"After much consideration, the West Indies players have decided to participate in the 1st One Day International against India. This decision should not in any way be construed as an acceptance by the players of the unreasonable terms and conditions put forward to us by WICB nor is it an acceptance of the purported new Memorandum of Understanding," Bravo said in a letter to Players' Association chief Wavell Hinds.

"The Players will not accept any agreement it has had no input in, did not give its consent to and which would infringe on its rights. We reserve all of our rights and intend to seek independent advice so as to establish the players best course of action," the letter stated.

"...we wish to reiterate our position put forward to the WICB earlier, that we continue under the old structure until a new agreement is reached between the players and WICB. Neither the WICB nor the players would be in a disadvantageous position since this would have been mutually agreed by the parties. This we believe is a sensible and reasonable approach for all concerned."

Earlier, in an extraordinary turn of events, the team's tour of India was thrown into jeopardy after the aggrieved players threatened to go on strike over an acrimonious pay dispute with its parent body. Barely a day before the series, the cricket team led by Dwayne Bravo shot off a letter to the West Indies Cricket Board and the Players Association, threatening to go on strike if the matter was not resolved.

The team had yesterday skipped the practice session, the pre-match press conference and the trophy unveiling ceremony as it held negotiations to diffuse the crisis after being handed contracts which would see their pay go down by approximately 75 per cent. The new contracts were given to the players after they reached India.


Story first published:  Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 14:30 [IST]
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