West Indies players end strike
West Indies' leading players have ended their strike and made themselves available for international duty following the appointment of an arbitrator to settle their dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Chris Gayle and other star players could now take part in the one-dayers against Bangladesh.
The original 13-man squad picked by the board for the Bangladesh Tests had boycotted the series due to a disagreement over contractual issues. The strike forced the selectors to pick a second-string side which lost both Tests, handing Bangladesh their first overseas series victory.
The WICB and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), which is negotiating on the cricketers' behalf, agreed to resolve the impasse by mediation on Tuesday, after meeting with Guyana president Bharat Jagdeo, who is also chairman of the 15-nation trading bloc Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Both sides agreed to the appointment of former Commonwealth secretary general Shridath Ramphal as arbitrator.
"It was agreed that in the light of the Mediation Agreement which the Parties expect to lead to the resolution of outstanding issues all the players will make themselves available for selection," they said in a joint statement.
"The mediation team, with assistance from the Caricom secretariat, would begin work immediately," they said. "Both parties have taken this step, mindful of the interest of their respective organisations but conscious also of their wider responsibility to the people of the West Indies and the international sport of cricket."
The agreement came hours after a weakened squad was announced by the board for the first two one-dayers against Bangladesh.