West Indies contracts row July 30, 2009

Ramphal welcomes facilitator's involvement

Cricinfo staff

Shridath Ramphal, the mediator in the bitter dispute between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), welcomed the appointment of a facilitator by the board to settle the issue amicably. Gerard Pinard, an industrial practitioner, is representing the board and Shridath was pleased with the early meetings.

"This I think is a very positive step forward," Shridath told CMC Sport. "Using a facilitator is a technique of mediation that you use to try to draw back from the more hostile exchanges. It helps develop the processes towards reconciliation through facilitators chosen by the parties, being persons in whom they have confidence, to speak for them and to agree for them, to do a deal for them if you like, to make the compromises."

Shridath was hopeful of settling the dispute by the end of August. The next meeting is scheduled for the forthcoming week.

Ramphal, a former commonwealth secretary-general, was appointed to mediate after the first-choice West Indies players refused to play in the ongoing home series against Bangladesh, citing pay and contract issues as their main grievances. West Indies lost both the Test and the ODI series and the same weakened squad was named for the Champions Trophy. The players ended the strike but their availability for international cricket will depend on how soon the dispute is resolved.