For the fifth consecutive year, another West Indies series is shrouded in controversy as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) wrestle over the contentious clause in the match/tour contract that covers players' individual endorsements and central team sponsorships.
Only three of the 13 players chosen for the forthcoming tour to Sri Lanka - Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Daren Powell, the fast bowler, and Denesh Ramdin, the new wicketkeeper - had signed their contracts by the WICB's deadline of last Monday, the Trinidad & Tobago Express reported. The WIPA said last week that the contract did not sufficiently protect the individual's property rights "as presently drafted".
The WICB's executive committee is scheduled to meet today to decide its response to the latest crisis and there are three options in front of them: Advise the Sri Lankan board of the situation and cancel the tour, which comprises two Tests and a tri-series; look for replacements from the A team that is currently in Sri Lanka for a series against the Sri Lankan counterparts presuming that those players are willing to sign the contract; or change their stance and accept the WIPA's position that the matter be submitted to Justice Adrian Saunders of St.Vincent for a binding settlement for the Sri Lanka tour only.
Saunders had earlier arbitrated in a similar situation last year and that allowed the West Indies tour to Australia to go ahead. In the event of the tour being cancelled, it would be an extreme and costly measure and may involve compensation to Sri Lanka and censure from the International Cricket Council.