Windies players agree to play again
GEORGETOWN: Striking West Indies cricketers made themselves available for international duty on Tuesday after an arbitrator was appointed to mediate their bitter dispute with the national board.
The original 13-man squad chosen for the two-Test home series against Bangladesh boycotted the series and watched their replacements lose both, allowing Bangladesh on Monday to clinch their first overseas series victory much to the embarrassment of the board and regional fans.
Former Commonwealth secretary general Shridath Ramphal was named as arbitrator by the Caribbean trade bloc after it was asked by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and West Indies Cricket Board to mediate their dispute over pay, medical care and working conditions.
Guyana President and trade bloc chairman Bharrat Jagdeo said both sides agreed on Ramphal as the mediator to immediately start with help from the bloc secretariat in Guyana. Both sides “were conscious of the importance and urgency of resolving their differences and setting their relationship on a path of lasting cooperation,” Jagdeo said in a statement.
“Both parties have taken this step mindful of the responsibilities of both organisations to the people of the West Indies and to the international sport of cricket,” and that “all players will make themselves available for selection.” The move to mediation came hours after the board named a 14-man squad excluding the strikers for the first two of three one-day internationals against Bangladesh, on July 26 and 28.
WIPA asked Jagdeo to intervene, saying the senior players were angry with the board for allegedly not paying them for tours this year, neglecting to take care of injuries, and for forcing them without consultation to play a Test and one-day series in England in April.