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Players’ meeting with WICB, WIPA termed to be ‘fruitful’

Players’ meeting with WICB, WIPA termed to be ‘fruitful’
The West Indies cricketers’ meeting to resolve the contracts and pay dispute issue with their players union (WIPA) and the national cricket board (WICB) has turned out to be ‘cordial, positive and fruitful’.

The West Indies Cricket Board, the West Indies Players Association and representatives of the West Indies squad on the tour of India held an emergency meeting here last evening. ‘The meeting was cordial, positive and fruitful, and discussions will continue in an effort to find a way forward following the premature end of the tour of India,’ said a joint statement released by the WICB on Tuesday.

The WICB was represented by president Dave Cameron, director Don Wehby and attorney Luke Hamel-Smith, while WIPA was represented by president and chief executive officer Wavell Hinds, Secretary Wayne Lewis and attorney Patrick Foster QC. Attorney Ralph Thorne QC represented the players who were on the West Indies squad to India (with the exception of Marlon Samuels).

Thorne also represented the interests of Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine and Lendl Simmons. Also in attendance were all-rounders Andre Russell and Jason Holder. This is the first time the three parties met to resolve the impasse that arose after the memorandum of understanding and the combined bargaining agreement signed between WIPA and WICB in September.

West Indies national team skipper Dwayne Bravo, acting as the player representative, had claimed that WIPA president and chief executive Hinds had kept the players in the dark over the MoU, which he allegedly signed without their consent. The players claimed the agreement had resulted in a drastic reduction in their earnings and had called for a return to the old Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

They also demanded Hinds’ resignation and told WICB that WIPA no longer had the authority to act as their bargaining agent. But when Hinds refused to step down and WICB showed least interest in resolving the matter, the West Indies players abandoned the India tour midway after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala, with a fifth match in Kolkata and one-off Twenty20 in Cuttack remaining. The Test series was scheduled to commence from October 30.
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