“It is clear to me that insofar as the resolution of the matter with the BCCI is concerned, the WICB is in need of some political intervention with the BCCI to help to resolve this problem.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minster Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Monday supported the call of West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron for the intervention of regional governments to help settle the WICB’s dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, who have made a US$42 million claim for lost revenue following the West Indies’ aborted tour of India last month.
In an interview on the Digicel Sportsmax cable TV station on Monday, he said Friday’s meeting at the Hyatt Regency to deal with the impasse between the WICB, the players who toured India and the West Indies Players Association was necessary if the BCCI claim was to be addressed properly.
“There was an elephant in the room, the elephant being the US$42 million claim by the BCCI and in order to get to address that US$42 million claim, we had to sort out our internal business in the West Indies first,” he said.
This enterprise (WI cricket) is a huge one and it is bigger than the West Indies Board or Dave Cameron or any kind of ad hoc mechanism to resolve…And Dave Cameron said he needs the assistance of CARICOM to help with resolving this difficulty, this challenge, this claim from the BCCI.”
In addition, Gonsalves was quoted in a report on the Caribbean Media Corporation website as saying: “I have been talking to several persons at home and abroad to respond to the plea by the president of the Cricket Board to see how we can help them with the US42 million claim that the Indian cricketing authorities have made against our team.”
Prime Minister Gonsalves also confirmed on Sportsmax the issues on which agreement had been reached at the Port of Spain meeting. “There were a few outstanding issues. The first one, what will be done with what you may call the pot of money relating to the Test match fees. That has been put to a process to arbitrate. The solution, if it is in favour of the players, will be retroactive.
“The second issue relates to the remuneration for the World Cup and the Board undertook to review the position which they had and which they offered to the players. Well clearly, once you review it, you only review it upwards; you can’t review it downwards.”
The Prime Minister also confirmed the WICB’s agreeing not to take action against what he termed the “India 14”. “The Board agreed that there would be no discrimination, there would be no victimisation and that the best players would be available for selection and the best team would be selected. “The Board reiterated its position for fairness and transparency in selection and specifically that there be no discrimination against any of these players.”
Also speaking on this matter on the show, Wayne Lewis, Secretary of WIPA said: “We have not heard any information coming out of the WICB that any disciplinary hearing would be taking place where any of the players are referred to a disciplinary committee. If they are not referred to a disciplinary committee, then I can’t see any sort of victimisation taking place.”
Commenting on the mood of the meeting, Gonslaves said: “The discussion at times was robust, but broadly speaking, people stated their differences in a respectful manner I would say that the meeting was cordial.”
But he added: “There was some robust language passing between Wavell and Dwayne… Persons were stating their position with some firmness and even some force… In my view, that matter was resolved between them and they are going forward in the right spirit.”
Asked if the rift between the players and WIPA was healed, Lewis stated: “The process has begun, it’s gonna take some while. Some really harsh words were exchanged between Dwayne Bravo and our president Wavell Hinds, particularly coming from Mr Bravo’s end. But Wavell is very thick skinned… He understands he is the president and the CEO and he has to show some resolve.”