Viv Richards has called for the West Indies board and the players to put aside their differences so a full-strength team can be sent to Australia for the VB Series. Formerly a chairman of selectors, Richards had seen the beginning of the conflict during his time. The disagreements include the players' sponsorship rights as well as their recent unexpected demand for US$500,000 as appearance money.
"Something has to be sorted out, it has been going on too long. I really hope they do tour and that something can be finalised," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying. He mysteriously added: "I would not like to add any ammunition from what I saw during my time. But this will not be a win for cricket if this carries on. Both sides must work this out."
Relations between the board and WIPA, the players association, remained bitter as the confrontation dragged on dangerously close to the players scheduled departure date of December 29. Dinanath Ramnarine, the president of WIPA, criticised a board representative for publicly citing figures mentioned during a stressful round of negotiations. Such is the seriousness of the matter that the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, appointed a judge to help resolve the dispute.
But in case West Indies withdraw from the tour, Australian board officials have marked India as a likely replacement in the month-long series.