The West Indies' player union president, Dinanath Ramnarine, has tendered his resignation as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after yet another dispute over contracts between the players and the board.
An outspoken critic of the WICB and its previous leaders, Ramnarine has long fought for players' rights and been the middle-man between the board and the players during frequent disputes over pay, sponsorship and other destabilising factors. Ramnarine, who was elected president of the West Indies Players' Association in 2002 and who was re-elected late last year, was brought onto the West Indies board in 2007 under the new leadership of Julian Hunte.
Ramnarine's resignation follows reports that the West Indies team failed to turn up to a cocktail reception on Wednesday night, ahead of tomorrow's first ODI against England on Friday. But yet again, it appears that payment and contracts are at the heart of Ramnarine's decision to end his now "untenable" position.
"One of the first things that we agreed was that we would no longer conduct our affairs in public," Ramnarine said in a statement on Thursday. "We, at the West Indies Players Association, have kept our side of the bargain and until recently, both sides for the most part displayed mutual respect for each other's positions. Unfortunately, while a number of issues were discussed and agreed in most cases, no implementation whatsoever has taken place. While my organisation was prepared to give some time for action to be taken, that time has expired."
One of the key reasons for Ramnarine's resignation is the retainer contracts which the players are shortly due to sign. "WIPA understands that contrary to what was agreed between the board and our association, contracts have been sent directly to players without the concurrence of WIPA and the players' rights holders, the West Indies Players' Management Company Limited. In other words, we have taken two steps backward.
"It is also important to note that players who received injuries while representing the West Indies have not been paid contrary to the terms and conditions of the very retainer contracts. Despite this non-payment, the board is expecting players to sign new retainer contracts."
He went on to reveal that the players who toured New Zealand late last year "will only receive a small portion of the figures contained in the agreement," contrary to what WIPA believe had been agreed upon.
"In the circumstances," Ramnarine wrote in a letter to Hunte, "I believe that my position at the board has become untenable, given the direction in which the board seems to be heading. Despite my decision to resign, I firmly believe that a representative of WIPA should always be a member of the board of directors. However, that representative would only be able to be effective if and when the structure of the board is changed to facilitate the best interests of all stakeholders of West Indies cricket."