Massive confusion surrounds the start of today's Carib Beer International semifinal between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago at Kensington Oval.

After hours of unresolved negotiations, emotional officials of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) emerged from the Accra Beach Hotel last night with conflicting stories.

At the crux of the matter in the negotiations is an increase in fees for regional competitions and compensation for players who sustained injuries on tours.

WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine was adamant the players would be taking industrial action by not participating in the semifinal matches here and in Guyana.

"They have given us the full authority and a mandate to go and negotiate with the WICB. They have agreed not to play and not to take part in this Carib Beer International Challenge," Ramnarine said.

In sharp contrast, WICB acting chief executive Roger Brathwaite said the competing teams in Barbados had given a commitment to play.

In another twist, the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and Trinidad and Tobago team management said as far as they knew, the match would go ahead as planned.

"The Barbados team has not communicated any intent not to play," said BCA president Stephen Alleyne.

"We had a meeting and we discussed the implications. We explained to the team that the BCA has an obligation to the sponsors. We have discharged these responsibilities honestly and fairly.

"We talked about the pros and cons of various courses of action and the team gave no indication of not playing."

Trinidad and Tobago manager Omar Khan said: "No one has communicated anything to us. As far as I know, we are prepared to play the match."

Brathwaite also indicated that Trinidad and Tobago players, prior to their arrival in Barbados on Wednesday, signed a form agreeing to play and wear the sponsors' logo.

WIPA and the WICB have held a series of meetings on the issues in the past few months and Brathwaite described WIPA's approach yesterday as "ambush negotiating".

"The executive of WIPA has taken a stance which we feel is at odds with what is accepted as proper industrial practice," he said.

It could trigger major repercussions, especially from a sponsorship point of view.

"I think Carib must be thinking: `Why did we get involved in West Indies cricket?'

"What are other sponsors out there saying? Why should we even touch West Indies cricket with the current attitude being demonstrated by players who, quite frankly, do not seem to have any sort of allegiance to the game of cricket?"