West Indies closer to peace deal
The West Indies players' strike is almost over after the region's board and players' association reached agreement over their bitter contract dispute on Tuesday. A three-day meeting between Julian Hunte, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, and Dinanath Ramnarine, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) chief executive, led to "nearly all outstanding matters" being "settled amicably", meaning a full-strength team should be available to tour Australia next month.
There have been fears West Indies would send another second-string outfit, like the one which was beaten in a Test series by Bangladesh, for the three-Test contest, but the hosts can almost throw out their back-up plans. A joint statement from the WICB and WIPA confirmed they were on the verge of a peace deal.
"Both parties are pleased that the agreement reached creates an environment to engage in building a genuine partnership that can ensure the long-term development and progress of West Indies cricket," the statement said. Two issues remain unresolved, with the concerns over the 2009 India tour and team rights referred to arbitration.
On Thursday the parties will start negotiating a long-term memorandum of understanding and have committed to finish it by the end of the year. West Indies' full-strength side last played a Test in England in May 2009.