West Indies contracts row September 6, 2009

West Indies were almost disqualified from World Twenty20 - Riley

Cricinfo staff

West Indies were almost disqualified from the ICC World Twenty20 in England over issues related to the players' dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board, Conde Riley, who resigned as a board director on Saturday, has said. Riley said the West Indies players had not signed their ICC contracts as required while going into the tournament in June, and only did so hours before their semi-final fixture against Sri Lanka at The Oval.

"The WICB suffered the embarrassment not long ago in England when, at the point where the West Indies team reached the semi-final of the Twenty20 tournament, on the morning before the match against Sri Lanka, Chris Tetley of the ICC informed the WICB secretariat that our team would be disqualified for the non-signing of these contracts by the players," Riley said.

Only a last-ditch effort, with the final consent to sign from West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine, spared the WICB that embarrassment, Riley added. "On that morning contact was made by Roland Holder (WICB's cricket operations officer) after Chris Tetley contacted him. He (Holder) contacted then manager Omar Khan, who at that point had to try and get these contracts signed to avoid our team being disqualified," he said. "After much to and fro, and with the approval of Ramnarine and the WIPA, the players signed the contract."

Riley's resignation came in the aftermath of the failed negotiations between the WICB and the WIPA. The WICB, on September 4, denied claims by the mediator in the dispute - former commonwealth secretary-general Shridath Ramphal - who said the late addition of a new set of requirements from the board had derailed the talks.