THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued a warning against players taking contractual matters into their own hands, as West Indies did in withdrawing from their tour of India, and hinted that the right to play in domestic tournaments such as the IPL could be removed for those who transgress in future. West Indies effectively cancelled their commitments in India last month due to a dispute between the WICB, the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) and the players themselves. The WICB faces a claim for millions of dollars in damages from the BCCI and could still be suspended by the ICC, with the matter a subject of ongoing board meetings in Dubai.
The ICC, which has previously stated it cannot intervene in disputes over bilateral series unless it receives a complaint, said that players abandoning tours had the potential to cause “irrevocable damage” that could “adversely affect the financial viability of the sport itself”.
The statement continued: “Players who behave in a similar manner in the future will not only risk breaching the disciplinary rules of the relevant member board and being sanctioned accordingly, but may also put in jeopardy their ability to conclude future contractual arrangements with domestic franchises or clubs in other jurisdictions.”
Several West Indies players, including the ODI captain, Dwayne Bravo, who was at the forefront of the dispute with WIPA, are regular participants in the IPL, although it has previously been suggested that their eligibility would not be affected by the walkout.
The ICC’s chairman, N Srinivasan, said: “It was undoubtedly a sad chapter in our sport. It damaged cricket’s integrity and reputation, as well as affecting confidence within the cricket community, especially that of the fans. The ICC board was determined to address this situation and ensure such incidents never happen again. The ICC is working with the concerned members towards finding a positive resolution and is confident that there will be constructive outcomes for our game.”
West Indies’ decision led to one ODI, one T20 and three Tests being cancelled and the BCCI submitting a claim for $42m in damages. The India board has also suspended bilateral relations with the WICB and threatened it with legal action if its demands are not met. (ESPN Cricinfo)