Windies players threaten strike. First ODI against India uncertain
KOCHI, India (CMC): West Indies cricketers are threatening strike action on the eve of the one-day international (ODI) series against India, regional media reports have said.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was warned that players may withdraw their services for the opening ODI scheduled to start at 4 a.m. Eastern Caribbean time (3 a.m. Jamaica time) today, the Nation Newspaper reported.
The threat of strike comes less than three weeks after WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) signed what has been termed a landmark memorandum of understanding and collective bargaining agreement (MOU/CBA).
It appears that the players are not happy with some of the clauses in the new MOU/CBA.
According to reports, several players were not privy to many key sections of the agreement signed on September 18 by WICB president, Dave Cameron, and WIPA president and chief executive officer, Wavell Hinds.
"We have a signed agreement with the players' association," The Nation quoted Cameron as saying.
"If there is some issue within the players' ranks, that is another matter."
At the centre of the players' issues are decisions taken that significantly result in a decline in income.
It is understood that under the terms of the new MOU/CBA, a portion of the revenue, previously divided among West Indies players, would now be shared by the wider membership of WIPA.
Additionally, the players would no longer be entitled to a 25 per cent share of income the WICB secured from International Cricket Council (ICC) events.
In their correspondence to the WICB, the players have been quoted as saying that they would take drastic action if their issues were not resolved.
The WICB later issued a release, saying it regrets the situation and apologised to all concerned.
Apologise to fans
"The WICB deeply regrets this apparent eventuality, especially in light of the tedious and substantial work which went into the good-faith negotiations to arrive at the new, historic CBA/MOU," the release said.
"The WICB apologises to the fans, the BCCI and all other stakeholders should the first ODI be disrupted as a result of player action. The WICB is making every effort to ensure that it fulfils all its commitments and that cricket is played."
It added: "The WICB further thanks the BCCI, the host board, for their understanding and pleads with fans to exercise calm and patience. The Board trusts that a reasoned approach is taken and that the interest of cricket is served. The board will make further announcements as may be necessary."