ICC condemns WI players
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Cricket's world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), issued a strong condemnation of the decision by West Indies players to abruptly abandon the recent tour of India yesterday and has warned that any such future strikes could result in disciplinary action.
In a strongly worded statement, the ICC labelled the players' controversial action as "extremely disruptive, damaging and unacceptable" and said it would take steps to ensure the episode did not recur.
"The ICC and all of its member boards on Sunday noted with deep disappointment the recent decision of the West Indies players to abandon an international tour without fulfilling the contractually agreed playing obligations between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," the ICC said.
"Putting aside the legitimacy or otherwise of any grievances of parties involved (and which are now the subject of a domestic Task Force probe), the ICC and all member boards noted that players abandoning tours have the potential to cause irrevocable damage to the sport in the jurisdiction of the relevant member board concerned, as well as enormous financial damage, which might adversely affect the financial viability of the sport itself."
It continued: "With that in mind, and in a show of solidarity, all member boards collectively expressed the view that they consider such player action to be extremely disruptive, damaging and unacceptable.
"Players who behave in a similar manner in the future will not only risk breaching the disciplinary rules of the relevant member board and being sanctioned accordingly, but may also put in jeopardy their ability to conclude future contractual arrangements with domestic franchises or clubs in other jurisdictions."
In an unprecedented move, West Indies players quit the one-day tour of India last month over a contracts row with their union, WIPA, with two matches of the series still to be played.
Their actions also forced the WICB to cancel the scheduled three-Test tour, a decision which further infuriated the powerful BCCI and led them to seek nearly US$42 million in damages in compensation.
The players' decision also put in doubt the tour of South Africa starting in December and sparked a series of high-level emergency meetings involving senior players, officials from WIPA, WICB, and two Caribbean prime ministers - St Vincent's Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Grenada's Dr Keith Mitchell.
"It was undoubtedly a sad chapter in our sport. It damaged cricket's integrity and reputation, as well as affecting confidence within the cricket community, especially that of the fans. The ICC Board was determined to address this situation and ensure such incidents never happen again," said ICC Chairman, Narayanaswami Srinivasan.
"The ICC is working with the concerned members towards finding a positive resolution and is confident that there will be constructive outcomes for our game."
In addition to seeking financial compensation, the BCCI has also suspended future bilateral tours with the West Indies.