With just three days to go until the first Test between West Indies and South Africa, the West Indies Players Association has urged the board to reconsider its decision to omit seven Cable & Wireless contracted players. The board had termed the seven players ineligible for selection owing to a conflict in their individual contracts and the board's contract with Digicel, a rival telecom company.
However, the WIPA claimed that the individual contracts, which had also been inspected by its own attorneys, should not bar the players from being selected. The board axed key players such as Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle from the team, and appointed Shivnarine Chanderpaul as the captain for the first Test in Guyana.
WIPA repeated its call in a statement issued to Roger Brathwaite, the chief executive of the board: "We therefore wish to state that in fact there is nothing standing in the way of the board considering for selection the seven players with Cable and Wireless contracts. We therefore once again call on the WICB to so consider these players."
The sponsorship dispute, which has rocked Caribbean cricket since last December, has failed to reach a resolution with none of the parties willing to compromise. Earlier, the WIPA had also mentioned that the Cable & Wireless contracts could co-exist with the Digicel sponsorship, thereby making the dropped players eligible for selection.