Gonsalves seeking money to foot WICB bill
KINGSTOWN, St.Vincent (CMC):
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he has been rallying support to help the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) settle a US$42-million bill with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Vincentian leader made his disclosure in Kingstown on Monday after WICB president Dave Cameron appealed for assistance from Caricom countries to satisfy the claim.
The BCCI suspended bilateral tours to the Caribbean and initiated the multi-million dollar claim for damages after the one-day team quit the tour of India last month over a contracts row with their union, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA).
"I have been talking to several persons at home and abroad to respond to the plea by the president of the cricket board to see how we can help them with the US$42-million claim that the Indian cricketing authorities have made against our team," Gonsalves said.
"I will help in whatever way I can because of the importance of cricket to our civilisation - our Caribbean civilisation."
It appears that a meeting in Trinidad on Friday, brokered by Prime Minister Gonsalves and his Grenadian counterpart, Keith Mitchell, with WIPA, has reached a resolution.
The meeting agreed to set up a three-man task force to look at the BCCI lawsuit.
"I fully expect that the team for South Africa will be selected without any discrimination, without any victimisation against the India 14, both for the Tests and for the one-days which will come in January," Gonsalves explained.
"I expect it to be done in fairness and transparency, and there are other elements which we have settled upon."
West Indies are to play a tough three-Test series against South Africa starting next month.