West Indies contracts row September 18, 2009

Jamaica chief calls for engaging with WIPA

Cricinfo staff

Paul Campbell, the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president, has said the current tussle between the West Indies board and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) is affecting not just the players and administrators but also sponsors, and insisted the board must change its course from one of fighting to engaging.

"There is no benefit to continue on the path we've travelled over the past five to six months," Campbell said. "We, from a Jamaica Cricket Association standpoint and as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board, are committed to changing that course.

"The perception is that we're fighting and we have to change that perception. We have to start leading ... we must recognise that the players are important, players have rights, WIPA is important ... and so what we've been saying to our partners is that, 'yes, we've come through a rough time... we continue to go through challenging times, but this is where we intend to go and we want you to partner with us'."

Negotiations between the WICB and the WIPA over player contracts broke down under the mediation of the CARICOM-appointed Sir Shridath Ramphal after which the CARICOM sent recommendations to resolve the dispute. These recommendations, which include senior players making themselves available for selection in regional tournaments, have been accepted by the WIPA but the WICB is yet to agree to them.

Dave Cameron, the WICB vice-president, said the management of West Indies cricket was the board's prerogative. "The first line in CARICOM's communique is something I'd like to emphasise. The management of West Indies cricket is the prerogative of the WICB. I commend CARICOM for having that foresight," Cameron said in a radio interview. "Recommendations are just recommendations."

Campbell welcomed the new WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire and said the JCA was committed to working with him. "It's always good when you have a fresh driver ... of the process."