Three players sign West Indies contract, board sees end to row

Kingston (Jamaica), Feb 12 (IANS) Only three players have so far signed contracts with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to represent the region in the T20 World Cup, just days before a Valentine’s Day deadline runs out.

WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead made the disclosure on Thursday without revealing the names of those who have put pen to paper before Sunday’s deadline, reports CMC.

Muirhead has also expressed confidence that the rest of the players would also sign the contract and disclosed that he has received a second letter from Sammy with a conciliatory tone.

His revelation came as a fresh contract crisis erupted this week over wages, between the WICB and players selected for the T20 World Cup starting next month in India.

“Three have signed and one has indicated that he would not be able to participate because of injury, so he will be replaced,” disclosed Muirhead.

“I will not name names at this point until the player is replaced and until Sunday when… at that point I will then decide the appropriate time to release such.”

Captain Darren Sammy and the players are contending that the remuneration on offer from the board for the T20 World Cup is unacceptable, and have called for a return to the amounts offered under the previous contract.

The players’ concerns were contained in a letter from Sammy to Muirhead rejecting the notion that the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) was their legitimate representative.

“I am confident I think they will sign. I think just the tone of Sammy’s letter. I think he almost sound like he is speaking for himself but I assume he is speaking on behalf of most of the players if not all,” said Muirhead.

“I assume that most if not all will sign not withstanding they may be some outstanding issues that he may want to take up after but certainly nothing could happen before. So I am confident that they will sign”.

Muirhead has also confirmed that the Clive Lloyd-led selection committee has already begun selecting a cadre of available players to represent the region in the World Cup, if they are needed.

“That’s in the hands of the selectors right now. I am not sure at what stage they are but they have convened,” he said.

“They were looking at the cadre of players who are out there and are available and will be putting that list together”.

In his letter to the WICB chief executive, Sammy had pointed out that the T20 World Cup four years ago, the lowest paid player was guaranteed almost $60,000 while the highest player stood to make almost $1,38,000.

He argued that with only $27,600 on offer for the upcoming tournament, it represented between a 50 and 80 percent pay cut for players.

According to Muirhead, while Sammy’s second letter expressed his intention to represent the West Indies at the World Cup he remains resolute that the WICB reconsiders the pay package.

“We are not opposed to reconsidering but it would have to be done through the single and recognised representative body being the WIPA,” Muirhead said.

“The book is never closed but it cannot be for a single group.”

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