West Indies contracts row July 28, 2009

WIPA hits back at Lloyd and Holding

Cricinfo staff

The West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) has strongly defended itself against criticism from former cricketers Clive Lloyd and Michael Holding. Speaking to Cricinfo last week, Lloyd had said WIPA was "not trying to achieve anything but strengthen their bank balance" while Holding had wondered if some WIPA officials were "trying to settle personal grouses with the board".

In a statement on its website, WIPA called Lloyd's charges "most unfortunate, wrong and misleading" and said Holding had "produced no evidence to substantiate his charges" and was "expressing his personal belief".

The players' body also hit back at Lloyd for terming the players who went on strike "greedy". WIPA said many of its members had rejected lucrative contracts with the unsanctioned ICL and pointed out that Lloyd and other leading players of his generation had signed up with the Kerry Packer's rebel World Series Cricket (WSC), which had forced the West Indies board to field second-string sides for several series.

"The reports of that time of upheaval in West Indies cricket indicate that Clive Lloyd, as West Indies captain, played a pivotal role in influencing other West Indian players like Michael Holding, Deryck Murray and Joel Garner to join him in the WSC. Unlike the IPL in which Chris Gayle and others are involved and which is recognised by the ICC, WSC was not sanctioned by this body. Lloyd and his team blazed the path for better remuneration for players by participating in the WSC.

"WIPA does not think that Mr Lloyd and others did so for greed."

The dispute between WIPA and the board intensified when 13 leading West Indian players boycotted the Test series against Bangladesh earlier this month. The players ended their strike and made themselves available for international selection last week after the appointment of an arbitrator to resolve the impasse through mediation.