Ball of confusion
Indian cricket tour called off
WICB says it has made no decision on tour
BCCI 'shocked and extremely disappointed'
NEW DELHI (AP):The West Indies are quitting their tour of India after yesterday's fourth one-day international (ODI) because of a pay dispute with its national cricket board and players' union.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it was "shocked and extremely disappointed" by the decision of its West Indies counterpart.
"The WICB's inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved," the BCCI said in a statement.
The BCCI added that it made "several appeals to the WICB to honour its commitment and complete the series."
Hours later, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) released a statement saying, "Contrary to media reports, it has taken no decision to discontinue the ongoing tour to India."
The WICB promised to elaborate after the match, but the BCCI reiterated that the tour had been called off as there had been enough indications all along and it had been confirmed yesterday by West Indies' director of cricket, Richard Pybus.
"WICB's position is that if the players refuse to play, then the players must return home and the rest of the ODI and test tour is called off. This has been discussed with the WICB president and CEO, and they are fully aware of developments here," the BCCI statement said.
West Indies almost didn't play the first ODI last week because of the pay dispute, and its players' union warned that it might strike or pull out of the tour. The lack of agreement boiled over when team manager Richie Richardson informed BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel of the team's decision by email early yesterday, just before the fourth ODI began in Dharamsala. The West Indians apparently reluctantly agreed to play the match.
Before the match, West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo termed the situation as "tough", as he hinted at the withdrawal.
"As you can see, my team is standing behind me," Bravo said at the toss. "It's been a tough tour for us. We don't want cricket to suffer. We enjoy our fans in India and our fans back home.
"That's the reason we represent the West Indies team, but there comes a time when we have to make a decision as a team, things are not going our way. We try our best, we do everything in our powers, and yet to come to an agreement, we need to have a contract, or something might happen."
West Indies will abandon the tour at the halfway point, with one more ODI scheduled, a one-off Twenty20 and three tests.
"We will pursue the ICC (International Cricket Council) to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion," the BCCI said.
The BCCI replaced the abandoned matches with five one-day internationals at home against Sri Lanka, starting on November 1.
"The BCCI wishes to thank (Sri Lanka Cricket) for its swift response, and for extending its support to ensure that the international cricket season is not curtailed," it said in a separate statement.
The dispute stems from a memorandum of understanding and a collective bargaining agreement signed last month between the WICB and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA).
Bravo, as the team representative, said WIPA president Wavell Hinds signed without the team's knowledge and consent. Bravo sought answers from Hinds, but even after Hinds responded, Bravo demanded Hinds resign from his positions, and asked the board not to communicate with WIPA until a solution was found.
But WICB president Dave Cameron said he will keep communicating with Hinds, and will adhere to the MoU signed in September.