West Indies contracts row

West Indies 'devaluing' Champions Trophy - May

Cricinfo staff

September 4, 2009

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Chris Gayle sits on the sidelines, Chester-le-Street, May 12, 2009
Chris Gayle and other leading West Indies players will remain sidelined for the immediate future © Getty Images
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The Champions Trophy will be devalued by West Indies sending a substandard team, according to Tim May. Floyd Reifer will captain West Indies in the tournament, which is supposed to featured the world's top eight teams, after the continued failure of mediation efforts between the West Indies Cricket Board and its players.

"I would suggest that the West Indies' insistence on picking a third-rate side devalues that tournament and that pain is going to be shared by the rest of the cricketing nations," May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricket Associations, told the Age. "I'd also suggest they are in breach of their agreement with the ICC, which says they must pick their best-available team."

The absence of 13 of West Indies' leading players, including the captain Chris Gayle, led to the side being humiliated at home by Bangladesh in the recent Test and ODI series. The prospect of West Indies sending a weakened outfit on their next Test tour, to Australia in November, has begun to raise concerns in Australia about the quality of cricket that will be played this season.

"When they take their team abroad and treat the Champions Trophy as no more than a bargaining chip in their negotiations, then I think we have got some problems," May said. "The Australian tour is coming up later this year and there is no indication that the West Indies Cricket Board are going to select their best team and, in fact if they did, my understanding is a significant number of the West Indies players would refuse to come because they have had enough of the West Indies Cricket Board and how they have treated the players."

The first Test is in Brisbane starting on November 26. A Cricket Australia spokesman said the situation was being monitored but there was not yet any reason to believe that the series would not go ahead as planned.

"Naturally we are concerned about the situation, however Cricket Australia is monitoring the situation very carefully and we are hopeful they will resolve their issues soon," the spokesman said in the Australian. "The reality is this is an issue for the West Indies Cricket Board to resolve along with their players' association."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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