Kochi: The West Indies cricket team yesterday decided not to boycott the opening ODI against India here but the side’s tour remained in jeopardy over an acrimonious pay dispute with its parent body.
Skipper Dwayne Bravo came out for the toss to put an end to the speculation that the Caribbeans may boycott the match to protest against the contracts handed out to them by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) which would have resulted in a 75 per cent cut in their salaries.
However, the matter is far from over with the players insisting that they reserve the right to take the “best course of action” if the dispute is not resolved.
“After much consideration, the West Indies players have decided to participate in the 1st ODI. 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, published by ESPNCricinfo, stated. The players are also disgruntled with the West Indies Players Association president and chief executive Wavell Hinds for agreeing to the terms without consulting them. According to reports, the players claimed Hinds “hoodwinked” them and did not take their inputs while signing a new MoU with West Indies Cricket Board last month, under which they would suffer a significant cut in their pay.
Treated like school boys
In a strongly-worded letter to WIPA and WICB, Bravo wrote: “We believe we are being hoodwinked and are being treated like little school boys, yet we are being asked to perform and play as professionals.
“We wish to make it very clear that should the players be forced to take matters into their our own hands, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action as we see fit.
We will hold you and the WIPA Board, who support this process, liable.
“The players here in India are under tremendous stress and the team morale is at an all-time low. We believe that this present WIPA Executive under your leadership has failed to properly represent the best interest of ALL the players,” Bravo wrote.