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July 16, 2009
The West Indian players currently boycotting the series against Bangladesh have asked the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) to help solve the impasse with the WICB over player contracts. The West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) hopes that Guyana president Bharat Jagdeo, the current chairman of CARICOM's heads of government, will be able to intervene and resolve the dispute.
"We at WIPA are fully conscious of the importance of cricket to the economy and unity of the region, and the psyche of its peoples - matters in which you and other Heads of Governments are continuously and intrinsically involved," WIPA chief executive Dinanath Ramnarine wrote in a letter to Jagdeo. "Our players are deeply mindful of this responsibility they shoulder on behalf of this important group of stakeholders. It is, therefore, in this context that we at WIPA wish to have a speedy resolution to these issues."
A meeting between all three parties has reportedly been suggested though it is unclear whether the board has agreed.
CARICOM - a nodal organisation of the region's national governments - has in the past played a leading role in similar disputes, particularly when Keith Mitchell, the former Prime Minister of Grenada, was the chairman of the Heads' sub-committee on cricket.
Meanwhile, the WICB said it would start paying the players for the England tour and the home series against India according to agreements it believed it had already established. Although there are no contracts in place, payments will be made on the basis of verbal agreements and written undertakings the board had with WIPA.
"At present, the situation remains the same," WICB vice-president Dave Cameron told the Caribbean Media Corporation. "We are not going to negotiate under duress and that is final. What we have done, however, is to make arrangements to pay players for their services. Presently, the wages for the England tour and the India tour are being processed and we will get it to the players as soon as possible."
Cameron said payments for the ICC World Twenty20 would be made when the WICB received its money from the ICC. The next ICC event is the Champions Trophy in September, for which the selectors are due to pick a provisional squad of 30 soon.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.