WI say sorry, India unmoved

WICB holds its players responsible for the mess; BCCI unwilling to buy theory

WI say sorry, India unmoved

The pullout of the West Indies team from the ongoing India tour has only plunged their cricket into a deeper crisis. 

Their long-standing ties with the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India have soured, and indications are that the frosty relationship will only worsen from here. The BCCI has made it amply clear that it will not take things lying down. Given the power the BCCI weilds in the cricketing world, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its players will feel the heat in coming days.

 Despite desperate attempts by the WICB to come clean on the issue, BCCI has said that it will take action. The BCCI calling an emergency working committee meeting to dicuss the issue only points out to its extent of anger at the development which could have been easily avoided with some firefighting.

On Saturday, the WICB, issued another statement after meeting their board of directors, pointing out that it did everything possible to save the tour which was under cloud before it commenced. The Board stated that it was left with no option but to discontinue the remainder of the tour after the players informed them through the team management about their decision to return home. The WICB once again blamed its players.

 “The WICB reiterates that as a result of the action taken by the players, the Board was forced with no other option but to discontinue the tour. The Board once again apologises unreservedly for the premature end to the tour, “ WICB said in a 10-point release after meeting with their board of directors.

 It said their proposal for an “alternative arrangement of a replacement West Indies team” was shot down by the BCCI.

“The WICB is in understanding of this position.” The board will be holding an emergency meeting on October 21 in Barbados to look into the ramifications of the pullout and the requisite actions needed to be taken against the warring players.  

The BCCI has categorically held WICB responsible for the situation. The WICB in a two-line statement on Friday had blamed the players for the withdrawal but BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel issued a timeline of the communication with WICB president Dave Cameron since the crisis began in Kochi on October 7 and the repeated stand of the WICB to allow the team fly back home.

“This makes it clear that all along, the WICB was withdrawing its team if a resolution was not reached in the issue with their players,” Patel wrote.

 In its defence, the WICB said: ”The WICB clarifies further that as a result of postulations by the players, the tour was under a cloud of uncertainty from the inception. The WICB, acting prudently, advised the host board – BCCI – of the developments and remained in constant contact to provide updates as to the threat of possible player action.”

The WICB  disclosed a delegation led by its CEO Michael Muirhead along with chairman of the cricket committee Julian Charles and WIPA president and CEO Wavell Hinds was scheduled to be in India on October 20 to negotiate with the players.

 “This meeting was scheduled prior to any issues being raised with the New MOU/CBA and it was intended to acquaint all the parties of how it would roll out.

 This was necessary as the WICB did not have an opportunity to so do in the Caribbean due to the logistical challenges of assembling all the players prior to departure for the tour of India (some of the players were already in India participating in the Champions League). The WICB CEO, Mr. Muirhead and WIPA President/ CEO Mr. Hinds had been in negotiations with regard to finding a mutually agreeable position to allow for the full tour to be completed.”

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