BCCI suspends bilateral tours with West Indies, to take legal action

Hyderabad: Cracking the whip, a livid BCCI today suspended all bilateral cricket tours with West Indies and decided to initiate legal proceedings against the WICB for abruptly cancelling its tour of India last week.

The tough stand by the BCCI, which has incurred heavy losses for the abandonment of the series, was taken by the all-powerful Working Committee which met here to decide the future course of action. The decision to suspend all cricket tours with West Indies and initiate legal action was taken "unanimously" by the Working Committee members.

Sanjay Patel
Sanjay Patel. Pic/ Sameer Markande

"BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against West Indies Cricket Board due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour. All Bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a brief statement after the meeting. The BCCI also appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for accepting the offer of playing a five-match ODI series at such a short notice.

"The Members appreciated the gesture of Sri Lankan Cricket Board for having accepted our request to play 5 ODIs starting from 2nd of November 2014, at such a short notice. "This tour is in lieu of their scheduled tour to India next year which will be reciprocated by India touring Sri Lanka in months of July/August 2015," the statement said.

The venues for the five ODIs will be Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad and the detailed itinerary will be announced shortly. The BCCI statement, however, did not specify the exact period of suspension of cricketing tours between the BCCI and the WICB.

It is learnt that the majority of the members were in favour of taking a hard stand against the WICB for aborting the tour after playing four ODIs. The West Indians were scheduled to play five ODIs, one T20 and three Tests matches during the tour between October 8 and November 19.

The Working Committee was called to decide on the exact course of action and the amount of compensation to be claimed from the West Indies Cricket Board for abandoning the tour of India mid-way. The aggrieved Caribbean players, who were persuaded to take the field for the fourth ODI in Dharamsala on October 17, conveyed their decision to call off the remaining part of tour to the BCCI. Patel had earlier indicated that the BCCI would take a harsh decision against the Windies Board.

"We have suffered huge losses due to the decision of the West Indies to pull out of the tour. We are going to claim all the damages and pursue the matter with ICC," Patel had said. "The working committee members will have dialogue on this and after that we may consider to not pursue further Future Tour Programmes (FTP) with the West Indies," Patel had said. Hours after the West Indies pulled out of the tour, the BCCI approached the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and quickly cobbled up a five-match ODI series to be played from November 1 to 14.

The West Indies players were adamant to withdraw their service since they were unhappy with the new contracts, offered to them after landing in India. As per the new contracts, agreed between the WICB and the Players Association (WIPA), the cricketers reportedly suffered a 75 per cent cut in their salaries.

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