WI players, Board blamed for India tour fiasco

The high level task force investigating the ill-fated recent tour of India has said the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the West Indies' Players Union (WIPA) and the national team players were all at fault for the controversy.

In its report submitted to the WICB this weekend, the task force said the while the board and WIPA had "erred significantly" in their administration of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the players also needed to shoulder a "significant proportion of the blame" for the abandoned tour, reports CMC.

The task force, headed by attorney Michael Gordon included ex-WICB president Wesley Hall and prominent Barbadian attorney Richard Cheltenham, also laid out eight recommendations to prevent a repeat.

This follows a month-long investigation of the crisis which stemmed from the one-day team's decision to walk off the tour of India midway in the series, in a contracts dispute with WIPA and the WICB. West Indies players on tour contended the new MOU would have resulted in a reduction of up to 70 per cent of their earnings and asked for the agreement to be revised.

When this did not occur, they quit the tour following the fourth One-Day International (ODI) in Dharamsala, putting paid to the fifth ODI, the one-off Twenty20 International and the scheduled three-Test series.

The task force concluded there was "something fundamentally wrong" with players arriving in India to discover the terms of their employment had undergone "radical change", and also said "very real questions" existed as to whether the MOU was indeed a contract.

"Both Michael Muirhead and Dave Cameron, CEO and president, respectively of the Board, took the view that it was an enforceable contract. Wavell Hinds (WIPA president) on the other hand was equally of the view that the September MOU was not in and of itself a contract but rather an agreed understanding that would lead to a collective bargaining agreement in much the same way as the prior MOU/CBA arrangement had worked," the task force said.

"This was fundamental. It is a trite law that if two parties to a negotiation do not agree on the effect of a document coming out of these negotiations then there is no meeting of the minds and hence no enforceable contract.

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