The West Indies Cricket Board has offered players the same Match/Tour contracts for the upcoming tour of South Africa that it offered for the ill-fated tour of India with one important exception.
The difference is the addition of one clause which speaks to the potential payout of sponsorship fees that could be re-negotiated, arbitrated upon or resolved by other means. The players have been given a deadline of Tuesday (November 18) to sign and return the contracts.
If any player fails to return the signed documents by that time, they will be automatically withdrawn.
If the outcome of such re-negotiation, arbitration or resolution dispute procedure between the WICB and WIPA (the players representative body) determines the payment of sponsorship fees to the players, that fee will be made retroactively.
On Wednesday, the WICB named a 15-man squad to be led by retained West Indies Test captain Denesh Ramdin for the three Tests on the South African tour that starts next month.
The clause identified as 5.5 also states: “It being agreed and understood that such arbitration or other dispute resolution process shall (unless some other period is mutually agreed upon by WICB and WIPA) commence within six months from the date of execution of the contract or within one month of WICB and WIPA failing to agree same through re-negotiation, whichever is the earlier. Upon such amount (if any) being determined as aforesaid, the payment will be made the retroactively.”
The Match/Tour contracts, which were only handed to the players when they were in India, became the source of the pay fee dispute that led to the premature ending of the India tour by the one-day team led by Dwayne Bravo. None of the players signed the contracts, and questioned the terms of the new Memorandum of Understanding and Collective Bargaining Agreement (MoU/CBA).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is currently pursuing a US$42 million claim to compensate for loss of income from sponsorship and television rights for the curtailed tour and has given the WICB a deadline of Saturday to indicate how they intend to pay up that debt.
The WICB recently issued an apology to the BCCI.