WICB officials must go to India to salvage situation: Andy Roberts

St John's (Antigua): Legendary West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts feels that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) should immediately send representatives to India and salvage the situation by speaking to the BCCI bosses as paying huge damages could end cricket in the Caribbean.

BCCI is apparently threating to claim damages of close to USD 65 million along with severing off all bilateral series with the West Indies. "I would not go the route of a task force right now. I would get people down to India to see if we can salvage anything. For me, that is more important right now than to set up a task force to find out what transpired between WIPA, the players, and the board," Roberts told The Gleaner.

The Indians were expected to play five series against West Indies in the next eight years, including four visits to the Caribbean. The West Indies, in addition to the tour-opening five-match ODI series, were slated to play three Tests and a Twenty20 international. However, the tour was called off amid player's discontentment over the terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed recently between the WICB and West Indies Players Association (WIPA).

"If India goes through with their threats of cancelling or suspending tours for how much years, our cricket is going to suffer tremendously," Roberts said. "It may take you another two or three months before this task force sends in its report. For me, it's a situation of let's see if we can salvage something from the Indian board before that."

Roberts has criticised the players¿ decision to end the tour, but said he was awaiting full details of the impasse before casting blame.

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