A strike could hit West Indies’ tour opener against India on Wednesday due to a row between leading West Indies players and their own union.
The match in Kochi, where the teams are already assembled, is the first of five one-day internationals to be followed by three test matches and a Twenty20 international.
The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) signed a new agreement last month covering pay and conditions but all-rounder Dwayne Bravo said players were kept in the dark about the talks and would not accept the outcome. (Also Read: India Won’t be Scared of Windies as Narine Mystery Looms)
“We believe we are being hoodwinked and are being treated like little school boys, yet we are being asked to perform and play as professionals,” Bravo wrote in a letter to WIPA president Wavell Hinds published by the Caribbean website Wired868.com.
“The players are of the view that as a matter of principle, we should not accept these conditions whereby we are being asked to play a series against India without any certainty of what are our obligations and what we will be playing for.”
The WICB said in a statement on Tuesday that they were aware of the dispute and the possibility of a strike.
“It has also come to the WICB’s attention that the some of the players could withdraw their services for the first ODI. The WICB deeply regrets this apparent eventuality, especially in light of the tedious and substantial work which went into the good faith negotiations to arrive at the new, historic CBA/MOU.
“The WICB apologises to the fans, the BCCI and all other stakeholders should the first ODI be disrupted as a result of player action. The WICB is making every effort to ensure that it fulfills all its commitments and that cricket is played,” said the statement.
Bravo wrote in his letter that players were being asked to take a substantial loss as part of a deal they were not party to. He said the tour should be conducted under previous contractual terms until a solution was found.
WIPA was not immediately available for comment.