West Indies contracts row August 13, 2009

WICB has to select best available team - mediator

Cricinfo staff

Shridath Ramphal, the mediator in the dispute over contracts between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), has said that the ongoing negotiations between the two parties in no way affects the obligation of the WICB to select the best available team for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Ramphal, a former Commonwealth secretary-general, added that the board had until August 22 to name the team, reiterating his objective to end the impasse before the end of the month. Ramphal had been appointed to mediate following a meeting between the WIPA, the WICB and Guyana president Bharrat Jagdeo, who is also chairman of the 15-nation trading bloc Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), in Georgetown in July.

"For the removal of doubt and avoidance of misunderstanding, I make clear that the Mediation Process following the Georgetown Agreement between the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association in no way affects the obligation of WICB to select the best West Indies team available for the ICC Champions Trophy tour of South Africa," he said. "The WICB has at least until 22 August to do so, including any changes to lists earlier supplied notwithstanding the on going Mediation Process."

However, none of the top players, with the exception of Fidel Edwards, feature in the 30-man provisional squad for the Champions Trophy, which was named on 21 July. Chris Gayle and the other players who had boycotted the Test series against Bangladesh made themselves available for international duty but haven't yet been picked.

The WICB fielded a makeshift team against Bangladesh for the home series which saw the hosts lose the Tests 2-0, the ODIs 3-0 and earn a consolation win in the only Twenty20 international.