India tour blame shared by all parties

Cricket with Dalchand Bissoon

The task force appointed by the West Indies Cricket Board to investigate the contract dispute between the West Indies players, West Indies Players Association and the West Indies Cricket Board, which led to the players abandoning the tour of India in October, found that all three parties involved were at fault.

The task force was headed by Michael Gordon QC and included former WICB president Sir Wes Hall and Barbadian attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham.

The task force, which submitted its report last weekend, said the board and WIPA “erred significantly” in their administration of the new Memorandum of Understanding and that the players also needed to shoulder a “significant proportion of the blame” for the abandoned tour.

The task force also called on the WICB to “build pillars of trust and respect with players who are the board’s employees.” The WIPA had also a “very real role to play” in this process.

The players quit the tour after four ODIs, abandoning the fifth, a Twenty20 international and three Test matches.

The WICB said it was studying the full report and would make an announcement in due course.

Meanwhile, WICB Chairman of Selectors Clive Lloyd has called on the ICC to organize longer tours when teams go on overseas trips.

According to Lloyd, the West Indies team now touring South Africa did not have enough preparation for this tour. “I’ve always wanted two four-day games in the tour,” said Lloyd.

“I’ve said that to the West Indies and the ICC. I think one game is not enough.”

The West Indies team played a three-day warm-up game against a South African Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, but the final day’s play was rained out last Friday and the match ended in a draw.

The South African Invitational XI elected to bat first and was skittled out for 125 all out, with Sheldon Cottrell claiming five for 16 in 6.1 overs and Jerome Taylor picked up two for 12 in five overs.

West Indies in reply scored 508, with Marlon Samuels topscoring with 203 and Devon Smith smashing 174. South African Invitational XI in their second innings was 17 without loss at the close.

The first test between the West Indies and South Africa was to start yesterday (Dec. 17) at SuperSport, Centurian.