January 22, 2003

WICB and WIPA locked in meetings

The Executive Committee of West Indies Cricket Board Inc. (WICB), has mandated Roger Brathwaite, its Acting CEO to negotiate a settlement with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), on the issue of sharing the team sponsorship for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Part of the Board's mandate is that the settlement should be fair to the players and on a basis that is consistent with past West Indies practice as well as in keeping with the current financial realities of the WICB.

Brathwaite is expected to meet with WIPA Representatives late on Wednesday afternoon in Antigua. President of WIPA, Dinanath Ramnarine is presently in Antigua, and is expected a key player in the discussions.

Meanwhile, the WICB remains committed to ensuring that there is minimal disruption of the team's preparation ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, and that the tour goes ahead as planned with the players and the WICB fulfilling their obligations to the sponsors, the ICC and the Caribbean fans.

It is important to note that the present impasse between the players and the WICB is not over the players' fees for the World Cup. Those agreements have been in place for a while now. All of the players have signed the participation agreement, and copies of such agreements have been filed with the ICC.

At the same time, Brathwaite has apologised to the LNM Group, the Official Sponsors of the West Indies team to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, for any embarrassment this incident may have caused them. The players' rebellion could not have come at a more awkward time for the Board, since it was merely hours earlier that the LNM Group announced their sponsorship of the team to this year's ICC Cricket World Cup.

Brathwaite noted that the WICB greatly appreciates the contribution being made by the LNM Group to West Indies cricket and looks forward to maintaining a long-term relationship between the two organisations.