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September 9, 2009
Political leaders in the Caribbean will meet on Friday in an effort to resolve the current impasse between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its senior players. Mediation efforts led by the Caricom-appointed Shridath Ramphal had failed earlier this month after talks between the board and the players, represented by the West Indies Players' Association, broke down.
The meeting on Friday, to be conducted through a video-conference, will explore ways to break the deadlock over issues such as contracts, medical fees, sponsorship benefits and image rights, Caricom secretary-general Edwin Carrington said on Wednesday. The leaders of Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda are among those expected to participate in the meeting.
"We are hoping that both sides would realize that we have to come back from the brink and really make what I would call compromises on both sides," Carrington told reporters. He added that good sense must prevail between the disputing bodies so that the "the best team would be on the field."
Chetram Singh, a director of the board, said he supported the effort but was uncertain the intervention by political leaders would work as they could not enforce their decision on an independent WICB.
"I am not saying that it will work but in my opinion anything is worth a try at this moment to see how we could solve this crisis in West Indies cricket as early as possible and if political intervention will assist, I would support it."
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