WICB, players sign landmark pact

Cricket with Dalchand Bissoon

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) signed a new collective bargaining agreement and memorandum of understanding last week.

WICB President Whycliffe Cameron signed for the board while WIPA President and CEO Wavell Hinds, the former Jamaican and West Indies opening batsman, signed on behalf of the association.

The WICB has defended the move toward a franchise system in the regional first-class championship which starts in November.

After the signing, the WICB president said franchise cricket isn’t a novel format for first-class cricket.

“What we have been able to agree is the only way we are going to go forward, is to at least have this system. We need to make it a West Indian culture, which is that we are comfortable playing with each other in our environment and we want the best players playing together,” Cameron said.

Cameron said there will now be 105 players engaged in cricket all year round.

“We are going to have 15 at the WICB level – which I will call the international team – while we will have 90 players at the regional franchise level – 15 players among the six teams,” he said.

Hinds called the signing “a great occasion for West Indies cricket.”

West Indies Cricket Board Director of Cricket Richard Pybus said the introduction of the franchise system was for the West Indies to close the gap with the top international teams.

“This is actually the best practice elsewhere in the world. Where the West Indies has been at is that we have been left behind dramatically and that has been reflected in the results,” Pybus said.

The signing ceremony was held in Barbados and was also attended by Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain, and Chairman of Selectors Michael Muirhead, CEO of the WICB.