New Delhi: The West Indies’ tour of India was shrouded in confusion all day after conflicting statements emanated from the two teams’ boards. It all started with the claim that the West Indies Cricket Board had called off the remaining part of its tour in the wake of an acrimonious pay spat with its players.
Subsequent reports claim-ed that the BCCI was hopping mad and had decided to move the ICC and sue the West Indies Board. The BCCI also claimed it has roped in Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series to fill the void.
The pressure tactics seemed to have worked because the West Indies’ board later denied taking a decision to pull out. The West Indies Board insisted in a statement on its official Facebook page – after India arranged the five-match ODI series with Sri Lanka to fill the void – that it “has taken no decision to discontinue the ongoing tour”.
But now, having committed to the Lankans, the BCCI was adamant that the West Indian series has indeed been curtailed. “The BCCI would like to clarify that despite all its efforts, Micromax Cup India v/s West Indies ODI series has been curtailed because of the ongoing issue between WICB and its players, and the withdrawal of the WI team from the ongoing tour of India,” BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a release.
The West Indies were scheduled to play one more ODI in Kolkata on Monday and a Twenty20 in Cuttack on October 22. They were also scheduled to play three Test matches in Hyderabad (Oct 30-Nov 3), Bangalore (Nov 7-11) and Ahmedabad (Nov 15-19).
The crisis had erupted on the eve of the first ODI in Kochi when the players threatened to boycott the match in protest against the contract handed out to them by the West Indies Board.
The new contracts would see Caribbean players’ pay go down by approximately 75 per cent. The contracts were given to the players after they reached India. The players are also miffed with the West Indies Players Association president and chief executive Wavell Hinds for agreeing to the terms without consulting them.
Although the players played the Kochi match, they had made it clear that their decision should not in any way be construed as an acceptance of the unreasonable terms and conditions put forward by the WICB.