Windies cricketers end strike; WICB refuses to change squad


The players agreed to make themselves available for international duty following the appointment of former Commonwealth secretary general Shridath Ramphal as arbitrator.
The WICB and the West Indies Players’ Association, which is negotiating on the cricketers’ behalf, agreed to resolve the impasse by mediation at a meeting convened by Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo at the request of WIPA.

Jagdeo is the current chairman of the 15-nation trading bloc Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).

The move towards mediation came hours after the board named a 14-man squad, which excluded the striking players, for the first two of three one-day internationals against Bangladesh, on July 26 and 28.

“It was agreed that, in light of the mediation agreement the parties expect to lead to the resolution of outstanding issues, all the players will make themselves available for selection,” WIPA and WICB said in a joint statement.

“The mediation team, with assistance from the Caricom secretariat, would begin work immediately. Both parties have taken this step, mindful of the interest of their respective organisations but conscious also of their wider responsibility to the people of the West Indies and the international sport of cricket,” they said. The memorandum of understanding was signed by WIPA President Dinanath Ramnarine and WICB President Dr Julian Hunte in the presence of Jagdeo.

The dispute erupted two weeks ago, when 13 of the leading West Indies cricketers made themselves unavailable for the first Test against Bangladesh in St Vincent, citing pay and contract issues.  However, West Indies are sticking with their weakened squad for the one-day internationals against Bangladesh despite the end of players’ boycott.

It was widely expected that leading players such as Gayle, Chanderpaul and Bravo would return for Sunday's first one-dayer against Bangladesh. A weakened squad had lost both matches in a two-Test series against Bangladesh and players drawn largely from that team were named on Sunday for first two one-dayers.

No explanation for the decision was given and the WICB was not immediately available for comment.

“They (are) not picking us for the first two games; so I guess that sums up the situation,” said Gayle.

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