West Indies players cannot hold the WICB to ransom: Andy Roberts

Windies great Andy Roberts lashes out at Dwayne Bravo & Co for pulling out of tour

The West Indies cricket team’s decision to end their India tour abruptly yesterday has not gone down well with former Caribbean bowling great Sir Andy Roberts.

India-West Indies ODI in Dharamsala
India captain MS Dhoni being run out Kieron Pollard during the India-West Indies ODI in Dharamsala yesterday. Pic/PTI.

Known to keep his emotions in check during his playing career from 1974 to 1983, Roberts, 63, did not hold back his disappointment with the decision taken by Dwayne Bravo & Co.

Andy Roberts
Andy Roberts

“I am not at all happy. It is a sad day for West Indies cricket. I don’t know the issue in detail, but the players cannot hold the Board to ransom. We are not a rich country. “Our cricket is struggling to survive. The players should look back from where they have come and where they have reached today,” Roberts, who coached West Indies during the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent, told mid-day, from Antigua yesterday.

Hint of trouble
Skipper Dwayne Bravo gave hints that all is not well in the West Indies camp when the team unusually stood beside their skipper at the time of toss during the fourth one-dayer in Dharamsala. Bravo & Co, who had threatened to call-off the tour or go on strike on the eve of the first ODI in Kochi, put their foot down yesterday when the pay dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) failed. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) press release, it was “a unilateral decision taken by the WICB and its players.”

Lanka to play five ODIs
West Indies were scheduled to play one more ODI in Kolkata, a Twenty20 match and three Tests. Sri Lanka has confirmed to play a five-match ODI series with India from November 1 to 15. Roberts also slammed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for not resolving the players’ pay issue.

“I am not a fan of the West Indies Board. They have done a lot of foolish things in the past as well. The WICB should look at the benefits of the players and not just the 15 players of the team,” Roberts said.

What made the West Indies pull out...

. Sept 19: The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) sign new agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

. Oct 7: WI players threaten to go on strike or boycott the first ODI against India in Kochi. Skipper Dwayne Bravo, who is the players representative, claims that WIPA president Wavell Hinds kept players in the dark while signing the MoU which would have seen their salaries drop by 75 per cent

. Oct 8: West Indies play the first ODI, thanks to some intervention by the Indian Board

. Oct 11: WI players continue their tour, but play the second ODI at the Kotla with black armbands.

. Oct 15: The players vs WIPA issue intensifies. Hinds denies claims made against him

. Oct 17: West Indies pull out of tour

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