West Indies news February 11, 2016

West Indies players want to play World T20 - Sammy


Darren Sammy has urged the West Indies Cricket Board to compromise with the players © AFP

The prospect of a full-strength West Indies squad boycotting the World Twenty20 due to a contracts impasse appears less likely after the team captain, Darren Sammy, informed the West Indies Cricket Board that the team wants to play the tournament, which starts in India from March 8.

In an email sent to the board over the last 24 hours, Sammy, however, reiterated his original demand asking the WICB to double the match fees, and share 50% of the sponsorship revenue and 100% prize money with the players. Sammy also asked the board if they would be ready for a mediation to settle the matter in case of a disagreement. Sammy's latest communiqué comes after the WICB had set February 14 as the deadline for the players to agree to the terms of the contract, failing which it would be assumed they had refused selection for the World T20.

"As captain of the WT20 team, I wish that we can settle this matter and focus on preparations for the tournament," Sammy said in his third e-mail this week to WICB CEO Michael Muirhead. "I want to state on behalf of the players that we want to play and will represent the West Indies to the best of our abilities."

All through this week Sammy, who is playing for the Peshawar Zalmi franchise in the Pakistan Super League, has been involved in a dialogue with the WICB through a series of e-mail exchanges with Muirhead. In his previous two e-mails to Muirhead, Sammy said the WICB needed to double the players' remuneration for the World T20 and stated they did not recognise the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) as their representative. Muirhead told Sammy that WIPA was the "exclusive collective bargaining agent for West Indian players."

Muirhead also let Sammy know that the WICB did not agree with the "old hierarchical system" of payment to players for ICC events under which senior players received "grossly disproportionate" amounts solely based on the number of international matches played.

Sammy said that he would not be happy to repeat the "embarrassment and fiasco" of West Indies' pull-out from the India tour in 2014 but pointed out that the WICB could not continue with its "high-handedness", the main reason behind the frequent run-ins between both parties.

"You cannot continue [to] force players to be represented by a body that they are not members of and do not want to represent them," Sammy said referring to the WIPA. "You cannot continue to be unfair and unreasonable. Issues like this will continue to plague West Indies cricket unless you have an MOU and arrangements for non-WIPA players are fair and just."

Sammy said he was aware, yet unafraid, of the "reprisals", and stated that "unless radical changes take place, players will always have the grievance of which we complain."

For the third time this week, he also asked the WICB to double the match fee of $6,900 on offer in addition to sharing 50% of sponsorship fees and 100% of the prize money with the players. "If you don't agree to the above, would you consider that this matter goes to mediation for a settlement," Sammy asked.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Robin on February 18, 2016, 17:18 GMT

    Why does it always seem to be that the West Indies are the only representatives in world cricket who consistantly threaten to boycott tournaments or series through money?..you hardly hear of that, if at all from the other countries. As if West Indies cricket is not in a big enough mess as it is, we have clashes with the Board and WIPA continually be at loggerheads.

  • Richardson J. on February 13, 2016, 23:06 GMT

    West Indies cricket is saddled with representatives in the WICB and WIPA who do not possess the requisite leadership and managerial skills. Additionally, the there seems to be a total lack of competence on both sides in contract negotiations. All readers should look at Daniel Brettig's excellent article http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia-v-west-indies-2015-16/content/story/957013.html A new players association needs to be constituted with strong worldly legal and managerial skills. The insularity of both WICB and WIPA is evident and is strangling WI cricket. The ICC needs to step in and assist the region with the replacement of the current Board, for it is quite clear that the lack of professionalism and vindictiveness are not in the best interest of West Indies and/or world cricket.

  • John on February 13, 2016, 8:18 GMT

    West Indies players and management always had problems they could never settle. Last minute negotiations have become routine in recent years. West Indies players pulled out of the India tour after Wavell Hinds representing the players, signed a contract that the players rejected in the middle of a tour.

    When a conflict like this is happening repeatedly, a change of leadership is necessary on both sides to resolve the differences. West Indies management has used replacement teams in the past, but that is not the solution.

  • Venkatesh on February 13, 2016, 3:27 GMT

    if they are being underpaid, requesting for double the match fee may be a negotiable tactic or may even be justified considering how poorly WICB and WIPA have been handling things. But asking for 50% sponsorship fees would be a bit too much. Do Sammy & co want to end the west indies cricket with their generation itself. IMO To these guys playing for WI may not mean playing for country, but a federation which they are treating it as any other franchise that bought them for BBL or IPL. That's just my opinion though.

  • Sudhir on February 12, 2016, 17:48 GMT

    The West Indies board should consider outsourcing financial management to the BCCI.

  •   Rhondel Wilson on February 12, 2016, 17:13 GMT

    Sammy has echoed what I have been identifying as the problem here. If you guys can recall, when the whole situation in India happened, only 1 player (marlon samuels) was NOT a part of WIPA. WIPA went and negotiated terms that the players claimed to not know about and not agree with. So WIPA basically went behind their backs. Now in this instance only 1 player IS represented by WIPA which means that all the previous players decided because of WIPA's actions to leave WIPA. The WICB failed to intervene and try to bring a resolution between WIPA and the players and I believe it is because the WICB can get WIPA to agree to whatever they deem best. So it is not in the WICB's selfish interest to do anything about WIPA. How can WIPA negotiate with the WICB over terms of payment, etc concerning players, the vast majority of which they do not even represent?? Yet the WICB does not want to acknowledge this as a problem.

  • Mil on February 12, 2016, 15:18 GMT

    Sorry Mr Sammy. Collective bargaining doesn't work like that. The Board and the players association reached an agreement that is in the best interest of West Indies cricket and West Indian cricketers. Can you see the problem if they pay you and other members of the team who resigned from WIPA more than WIPA members?

  • Rajesh on February 12, 2016, 13:33 GMT

    Though Sammy might be right in his grievances, that WI players are not paid properly, I don't think it is right on the part of the players to bring it up whenever a major series or tournament is about to begin. What were the players doing till now? Are there no courts in Caribbean islands, where the WICB could be made to answer such grievances? I don't think its right on Sammy's part to request for 50% of sponsorship fees. He needs to understand that this money is vital for the development of infrastructure and well being of local boards, tournaments, players etc. This is another example of how poor the management of WICB by Cameron and Muirhead .. The stellar body (ICC) should be more strong, dynamic and solid to deal with such incompetence from full-time member boards..

  • ALIENA on February 12, 2016, 10:49 GMT

    WICB you have to wake up and see how the entire world despise what you Cameron and Murihead are doing. You are not fit to run the board. Karma has a way of getting you. I hope you do the right thing and have Sammy and the team get their request and play the T20 world cup...

  • Anver on February 12, 2016, 9:28 GMT

    As usual once again a WICB-Players issue arises before a global tournament !! Its T20 cricket and as a neutral fan I like to see a full strength WI team in WC !!! Of course without WI, this T20WC is gonna be a dull one !!! wake up WICB !!!

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