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West Indies pulls out of tour of India

October 17, 2014

NEW DELHI (AP) — West Indies is quitting its tour of India after the fourth one-day international on Friday because of a pay dispute at home with its national cricket board and players’ union.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said it was shocked and extremely disappointed by the decision of its West Indies counterpart.

“The WICB’s inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved,” the BCCI said in a statement.

The BCCI added it made “several appeals to the WICB to honor its commitment and complete the series.”

Hours later, the WICB released a statement saying “contrary to media reports, it has taken no decision to discontinue the ongoing tour to India.”

The WICB promised to elaborate after the match but the BCCI re-iterated that the tour had been called off as there had been enough indications all along and it had been confirmed Friday by West Indies’ director of cricket Richard Pybus.

“WICB’s position is that if the players refuse to play then the players must return home and the rest of the ODI and test tour is called off. This has been discussed with the WICB President and CEO and they are fully aware of developments here,” the BCCI statement said.

West Indies almost didn’t play the first ODI last week because of the pay dispute, and warned its players union that it might strike or pull out of the tour. The lack of agreement boiled over when team manager Richie Richardson informed BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel of the team’s decision by email early Friday, just before the fourth ODI began in Dharmasala. The West Indians apparently reluctantly agreed to play the match.

Before the match, West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo termed the situation as “tough,” as he hinted at the withdrawal.

“As you can see, my team is standing behind me,” Bravo said at the toss. “It’s been a tough tour for us. We don’t want cricket to suffer. We enjoy our fans in India and our fans back home.

“That’s the reason we represent the West Indies team, but there comes a time when we have to make a decision as a team, things are not going our way. We try our best, we do everything in our powers, and yet to come to an agreement we need to have a contract, or something might happen.”

West Indies will abandon the tour at the halfway point, with one more ODI scheduled, a one-off Twenty20 and three tests.

“We will pursue the ICC to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion,” the BCCI said.

The BCCI replaced the abandoned matches with five one-day internationals at home against Sri Lanka, starting on Nov. 1.

“The BCCI wishes to thank (Sri Lanka Cricket) for its swift response, and for extending its support to ensure that the international cricket season is not curtailed,” it said in a separate statement.

The dispute stems from a memorandum of understanding and a collective bargaining agreement signed last month between the WICB and West Indies Players Association.

Bravo, as the team representative, said WIPA president Wavell Hinds signed without the team’s knowledge and consent. Bravo sought answers from Hinds, but even after Hinds responded, Bravo demanded Hinds resign from his positions, and asked the board not to communicate with WIPA until a solution was found.

But WICB president Dave Cameron said he will keep communicating with Hinds, and will adhere to the MoU signed in September.

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