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'We were left with no option' - WICB

The WICB has said it was left with no option but to "discontinue" the tour of India after the players had informed the board through the team management that they would be returning back to the Caribbean.

"The WICB clarifies that players in the West Indies Squad currently in India represented by Mr. Dwayne Bravo indicated to the WICB through the West Indies Team Management that the players have taken a decision to withdraw their services for the remainder of the tour of India," the release said. "As a result of this action by the players the WICB was left with no option but to advise the BCCI that it will no longer be able to provide a West Indies team for the remaining five matches (5th ODI, T20 International, three Test matches)."

The WICB directors have called for an emergency board meeting on October 21 in Barbados to decide all the "ramifications" arising of the players pullout and take any actions if necessary. The WICB did not rule out penalising players but such actions would be discussed at Tuesday's meeting.

After the players' decision had become public as soon as the fourth ODI in Dharamsala had started, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel issued a bluntly-worded media release, holding the WICB responsible for what he called as an "abrupt" termination of the tour. Patel pointed out that the WICB's inability to resolve the growing differences between players and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) over the payment dispute lead to such a crisis.

Although it had issued a short release earlier in the day stating the WICB did not play any role in the tour being called off, the board issued a ten-point media release late Friday afternoon Caribbean time after an emergency teleconference of its directors. In it the WICB pointed the fingers back at Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies ODI captain, and his players for the "premature" end to the tour.

The WICB said it did think of sending a replacement West Indies team, but that was "not considered acceptable" to the BCCI. "The WICB is understanding of this position," the release said. The WICB took the opportunity to "unreservedly" apologise to the BCCI, the sponsors and the fans both in Caribbean and India.

But the BCCI was completely unapologetic as it bared its angst in a second media release, issued late Friday evening India time. The release was once again signed by Patel, where he listed a timeline of the events about the WICB president Dave Cameron's communications with BCCI. Cameron's various unfulfilled promises about providing an assurance that the dispute would have no repercussion on the India tour, Patel said, "makes it clear all along that the WICB was withdrawing its team if a resolution was not reached in the issue with the players."

But the WICB defended its position. "The WICB clarifies further that as a result of postulations by the players, the tour was under a cloud of uncertainty from the inception. The WICB, acting prudently, advised the host board - BCCI - of the developments and remained in constant contact to provide updates as to the threat of possible player action."

The WICB also revealed a delegation lead by its CEO Michael Muirhead along with Julian Charles (the cricket committee chairman) and WIPA president and CEO Wavell Hinds was supposed to be in India on October 20 to negotiate with the players. "The WICB regrets that the delegation which was pre-scheduled to travel to India to meet with the players on a number of issues will no longer be able to conduct such meeting at which the intention was also to discuss the concerns of the players.

"This meeting was scheduled prior to any issues being raised with the new MOU/CBA and it was intended to acquaint all the parties of how it would roll out. This was necessary as the WICB did not have an opportunity to so do in the Caribbean due to the logistical challenges of assembling all the players prior to departure for the tour of India (some of the players were already in India participating in the Champions League). The WICB CEO, Mr. Muirhead and WIPA President/CEO Mr. Hinds had been in negotiations with regard to finding a mutually agreeable position to allow for the full tour to be completed."