St John’s (Antigua): Advance notice of a strike is among eight proposals put forward by the task force investigating the West Indies cricket team’s controversial abandonment of its India tour in October.
The proposals, contained in a report delivered to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Saturday, also includes those aimed at improving player relations with the board and team management, and enhancing personal player development, reports CMC.
This stems from the month-long inquiry conducted by prominent attorneys Michael Gordon and Richard Cheltenham, along with former WICB president Wesley Hall. The results were presented to the WICB at a directors meeting in Port of Spain.
Chief among the list of recommendations was that any Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiated between the board and the West Indies Players’ Union (WIPA) contain a provision to deal with disputes.
“A new CBA should contain a provision such as is contained in legislation relating to Essential Services to the effect that before the withdrawal of labour or any other industrial action be taken that a minimum period of notice be given by the WIPA to the WICB (say 14 days) of any industrial action contemplated by the WIPA or the players as a result of an identified dispute,” the task force report said.
“We would recommend that a similar provision be put into the individual player’s contracts. This would obviate any circumstance as occurred in India. Breach of such a condition would be a breach of contract.”
On the recent ill-fated tour of India, the one-day squad abandoned the series following the fourth one-dayer in Dharamsala, scuppering the fifth limited overs match, the one-off Twenty 20 and the scheduled three-Test series.
Also, to deal with the contentious issue of tour contracts, the task force report recommended that the WICB provide contracts to players three weeks prior to any tour, with the players required to resubmit the signed documents one week before the tour.
“Failure to return a signed contract will disqualify the player from selection on the team,” the report suggested.
The task force also called on the WICB to “build pillars of trust and respect with the players who are the Board’s employees”, with the WIPA and senior players playing key roles; a simplification of the Windies team management structure with clear roles for manager, coach and captain and the recruitment of a sports psychologist on a retainer basis.
Further, the task force has recommended the WICB print and issue an employee handbook to the WIPA and every player selected for West Indies duty and hold bonding sessions twice a year with team management and players “to foster harmonious relations”.
The report also recommended a return to the concept of a tour management committee comprising the team manager, head coach, captain, chief selector and a WIPA representative or senior player.
The task force was set up by the WICB in the aftermath of the impasse which followed the abandoned tour of India.