West Indies contracts row July 12, 2009

Board threatens to play on without top players

Cricinfo staff

The West Indies board (WICB) has upped the ante in its ongoing clash with its own players by issuing a media release stating its "unswerving commitment" to the current squad playing Bangladesh and all those who made themselves available for selection.

The board said the squad for September's Champions Trophy would be picked from among these players and that it would begin interviewing prospective captains. "This ensures that there will always be a solid pool of approximately 29 contracted players from which to draw for the Board's future tour commitments."

The move in effect is a warning to those players who did not make themselves eligible for selection for the Bangladesh Test that they will not be considered for future tournaments, and is widely seen as an attempt to put pressure on those who boycotted the game to reconsider their position.

However, former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams, now honorary secretary of the players' association (WIPA) told Cricinfo that the players had "got fed up with things going nowhere" and were prepared to "sit out and see what happens".

While the WICB is publicly prepared to go with the current squad, it also emerged that more than 13 players - the number widely reported - had turned down invitations to play against Bangladesh. Dinanath Ramnarine, the chief executive of WIPA, told Cricinfo the number was closer to 30 or 40.

The board referred to "strike action" by players, but Ramnarine was quick to point out that individuals without contracts could not go on strike. "They declined invitations to play, which is not the same thing," he said.