PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), Michael Hall, says WIPA cannot be blamed for the delay in issuing retainer contracts to senior cricketers.
Hall was reacting to statements by the WICB president Julian Hunte during a news conference on Monday claiming that WIPA had asked WICB not to issue contracts.
In an interview with the Trinidad Guardian, Hall accused the WICB of not providing assurances to WIPA on behalf of players who are to receive contracts.
"This must be done before October 1 each year, when the contracts are supposed to take effect," Hall said.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between WIPA and the WICB requires the board to provide certain assurances to the players' body.
The WICB president told journalists in Bridgetown on Monday that WIPA has not explained why it did not want the contracts to be issued.
"We have been asked by WIPA not to make any announcement just yet. WIPA has asked WICB not to issue the contracts. I honestly do not know the reason. They did not give a reason," Hunte said.
"We are waiting for them and very soon we should get a response. We have not yet offered the contracts to the individuals."
WIPA has often accused former CEO Ernest Hilaire of ignoring the legal requirement of discussing the retainer contracts with WIPA.
Anxious about status
Earlier this month, the association wrote to acting CEO Verlyn Faustin, trying to resolve the dispute.
"This matter is of grave importance to the players who are to be retained by the WICB," WIPA said in its email dated October 4.
"The contract date (October 1) has passed and the players will be anxious about their status, as well as their payments which fall due under these contracts."
WICB has increased the number of players to receive contracts from 15 to 20.
The matter will be the subject of discussions at a meeting scheduled for today in Jamaica between officials from WIPA and WICB.
Discussions will also centre on terms and conditions, sponsors, match fees and players' image rights.
"WIPA hopes that the WICB will now review its president's erroneous statement to the media, send the relevant information to WIPA, and meet to finalise the contracts which have been due since October 1."