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WI cricketers turn on WIPA: India ODI series in jeopardy

The following is a letter sent today from the West Indies cricket team to West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds, which was given to Wired868 from an informed source in India.

West Indies is due to face India at Kochi tomorrow in the first of five ODI series but has refused to play under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last month between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and WIPA:

Photo: West Indies cricketers Dwayne Bravo (centre), brother Darren Bravo (left) and Carlton Baugh during a previous tour, (Copyright AFP 2014/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)
Photo: West Indies cricketers Dwayne Bravo (centre), brother Darren Bravo (left) and Carlton Baugh during a previous tour,
(Copyright AFP 2014/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

Dear Mr. Hinds,

We refer to our last correspondence to you dated October 6th, where we the players suggested as a way forward that: “The players are proposing in light of the above and our previous correspondence, that we continue with the same old payment structure which was previously agreed by WIPA and WICB until we are in a position to properly be informed of all the WICB’s finances etc, have an input in the decision making process and more importantly negotiate an acceptable agreement in an attempt to arrive at a win-win resolution.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this old payment structure will continue and remain in effect until a new agreement is mutually reached between the Players and the WICB.”

We are of the view that this proposal would be an acceptable way forward since everything remains the same and more importantly neither the WICB nor the players are in a disadvantageous position while we continue to discuss further.

We are disappointed with the lack of proper representation and the players are now forced to make this proposal without any details as to how this new purported agreement was even arrived at and by whom, since the only advice we have received from you as President and CEO of WIPA is to not sign the contract /agreement that was sent by the WICB.

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.

Photo: The West Indies players refused to sign a MOU that was already agreed upon on their behalf by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).
Photo: The West Indies players refused to sign a MOU that was already agreed upon on their behalf by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).

As you would appreciate Mr. Hinds, this is how we as professional cricketers earn our livelihood and provide for our families, our careers are short and uncertain, furthermore it is a highly competitive and stressful environment as one bad performance can see you out of the team forever, a player can suffer an injury at any time which could not only be career threatening but in many cases affect their lives even after their playing days are over.

Mr. Hinds, the list can go on and on.

As we have indicated to you earlier, the players here in India are under tremendous stress and the team morale is at an all-time low.

We believe that this present WIPA Executive under your leadership has failed to properly represent the best interest of ALL the players.

Many are questioning whether there is now some “special relationship” between the WICB and WIPA which may be good for some but has not taken into account the whole picture resulting in what may be seen as embarrassing and demonizing some players who represent the WI, yet signalling to public that this new purported agreement (MOU) is in the best interest of West Indies Cricket.

This is evidenced by the inaccurate WIPA press statement which was sent after we raised our strong objections to you both verbally and in writing.

Mr. Hinds, we have over the past few days raised a number of questions which have not been answered even though you should have firsthand knowledge of the facts. We find it worrying that you would want to have a Board meeting to determine who were the lawyers and IR persons used for the negotiations of this agreement.

Photo: West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo.
Photo: West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo.

This has led us to do our own preliminary investigation which has informed us to date of the following, which we will stand corrected as we await your written response later today.

1) There were little or no legal advice sought in the negotiating of this purported new MOU between the WICB and WIPA.

2) There were little or no Industrial Relations advice sought during the negotiations of the purported new MOU.

3) None of the players were consulted during and after the negotiations of this purported new MOU. This is a process that has been the common practice between previous WIPA representatives and the players. This was completely ignored.

4) The Players were never given the opportunity to consider the document (MOU) and approve it before it was signed consistent with past practice.

5) The first time any agreement was seen by the players was a match/tour contract with a new fee structure significantly different from what we received in the past. This was given to us in India.

6) To date, the players have still not seen this new purported MOU between the WICB and WIPA.

7) The players’ rights which we have protected through many negotiations and Arbitrations have been given away for nothing.

8) Questions raised by some WIPA Board members were ignored.

9) The WIPA Board never approved the new purported MOU before it was signed.

10) WIPA is receiving in addition to the 3% of all players earnings, a sum of $500,000.00 USD annually from WICB (1% 0f WICB Revenue) once this new agreement remains.

As indicated in our earlier correspondence, the reduction is unacceptable and as one of our members put it “it is ridiculously insane” when one considers the massive cuts based on the information we have received:

1)      Our Test/ODI/T20 fees have been decreased by 75%

2)      No compensation for the use of our rights. That has been decreased by 100%

3)      Our ICC fees have been decreased by close to 100%

Perhaps Mr. Hinds, the confusion of the plethora of positions that you occupy being Chairman of Selectors for Jamaica Senior team, a Board member of the Jamaica Cricket Association and the dual role of President and CEO of WIPA have in some way contributed to the confusion or perhaps being a member of the same club as Mr. Cameron in some way may have clouded your judgment.

Photo: WIPA president Wavell Hinds (right) is congratulated Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president Lyndel Wright (left) while WICB president Dave Cameron looks on. The event was the opening of the WIPA office in Jamaica last month. (Courtesy WIPA)
Photo: WIPA president Wavell Hinds (right) is congratulated by ex-Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president Lyndel Wright (left) while WICB president Dave Cameron looks on.
The event was the opening of the WIPA office in Jamaica last month.
(Courtesy WIPA)

However, we as players who are paying members of WIPA demand that proper representation is required. We wish to make it very clear that should the players be forced to take matters into their own hands, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action as see fit. We will hold you and the WIPA Board who support this process liable.

Mr. Hinds, the players have raised some further questions that remained unanswered:

1) Have the WICB Board members and staff taken a pay cut as we are being asked to do or at all. Our information is that staff has been increased both in numbers and their salaries.

2) Have the WICB declared their million dollar television deal

3) Have the WICB declared how much they are being paid extra for the matches outside of the FTP like this India tour.

4) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from the sale of CPL to Digicel our most lucrative tournament.

5) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from Digicel as the team sponsor.

6) Have they declared their financial arrangements with Governments for the international and regional home series.

We wish at this stage to once again reiterate our position as a way forward, let us continue under the old structure until we are able to properly negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement in the best interest of West Indies cricket.

This in our view is a sensible approach since it would give us players an opportunity to have an input, seek the necessary advice and put our house in order. We have articulated this position to Mr. Richardson, Mr. Pybus and Mr. Lloyd who all understand our position.

It is without question that we want to see West Indies cricket rise again and we are very committed to that process, but the way it is being done is most unfortunate and unacceptable.

Photo: West Indies players (from left) Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo and Chris Gayle. (Courtesy AP)
Photo: West Indies players (from left) Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo and Chris Gayle.
(Courtesy AP)

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.

We appeal for good sense to prevail and that you, who have a responsibility until such time that you hold the position as President and CEO to act in all the players’ best interest.

We look forward to hearing from you later today.

Regards,

The WI Cricket team

(The relevant parties)

West Indies cricket team: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Leon Johnson, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin, Sulieman Benn, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor.

West Indies Cricket Board: Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron (president, Michael Muirhead (CEO).

West Indies Players Association: Wavell Hinds (president).

 

Editor’s Note: Click HERE for why the West Indies players are up in arms with WIPA.

And HERE to read West Indies’ second letter which agreed to play the opening ODI but demanded the resignation of WIPA president Wavell Hinds and a renegotiation of their MOU.

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141 comments

  1. But Gerard, sooner or later the truth will come out and we will all see who are the villains…..on another note WI teams are always competitive in the 50 overs and T20 it is test cricket over the 5 days we have problems with

  2. Hassan C Araujo, of course the representatives must keep their members apprised of what is going on…in fact, the negotiating team would normally be operating on the basis of a mandate approved by its membership. I really do not know the details of how/whether WIPA kept their members informed along the way, but as far back as September 18 (I think) the new deal was announced publicly. Accordingly, it seems passing strange that the issues would not have been raised (and addressed) much earlier than yesterday (or October 04). As I keep saying, hopefully the truth will emerge sooner rather than later and all will end well for the sake of West Indies Cricket.

  3. Yes but the representatives must inform the membership of what is going on and according to these players who are in India now they were not informed…..

  4. Agreed, Colin Benjamin, and the previous CBA/MOU was an unmitigated industrial relations disaster for West Indies Cricket, at least in my opinion. It was ill considered and seriously unbalanced in many respects – hopefully, the new arrangement is a better one for all stakeholders.

  5. Yes Hassan C Araujo, but remember that “union members” elect their representatives based on democratic criteria and that sometimes means that the minority will not always get what they want.

  6. Agreed, Lasana, the proof of the pudding is yet to come. Suffice it to say though that our Team came up trumps today and played like true professionals against a top team. In my view, they have also greatly enhanced their own negotiating leverage based on their professionalism, firstly in playing the game and secondly via their performance. That of itself is a far cry from the past where we have had mediocre performances and unprofessional approaches from many while demanding the moon and the stars. Dare we hope that at last, despite the hiccups, we are heading in the right direction?

  7. Nobody really knows what up to date because of the understandable silence coming from the WICB/WIPA. But until proven otherwise, Mr Hinds is certainly looking bad here.

    That MOU stuff has been the elephant in the room of windies cricket for a long time, hence all the WICB/WIPA wars in the past. So if the players sense something wrong, until they are also proven otherwise – their concerns have to be taken very seriously.

  8. Gerard, it seems you are get your panties in a wad, buddy… didn’t you read the disclaimer about the joke?

  9. If the players lost all their image rights and sponsorship perks, would that figure not be probable though Gerard Emile Zatopek Pinard?

  10. By the way, the WICB is asking for sacrifice from the players, who on the WICB is taking a pay cut?. Shouldn’t they lead by example?

  11. Sometimes strife brings a team together for a one-off triumph. But long-term success would need to be built on something more than that.
    Remember India would also have been wondering if the game was on and what players they would face.
    They would be better prepared mentally for the next ODI. And, if the WI players are still not satisfied with their contract then, they might be a bit deflated.
    So fingers crossed.
    I’m not able to follow everything from Gerard Emile Zatopek Pinard and Mark Pouchet. But it looks a great tete-a-tete that is capturing all the angles! 🙂

  12. Mark, don’t get your panties in a twist bro, as I said before I do not believe it to be true that the players have had their “salary” cut by 75% at all, and have seen absolutely no evidence that this is factual. And don’t be too concerned about my own past role in the negotiations…as long as my clients are happy then so am I.

  13. Gerard …..maybe my analogy was off a bit a misstep…….WICB is in this plot with WIPA and this is how the players see it……union members dont like to see things taken out of agreements and nothing beneficial to them put in…..

  14. I did not claim that, the players did ….refer to October 4th letter , and I wonder if you would be joking if somebody cut your salary by 75 per cent…..Disclaimer : THIS IS A JOKE, OK?: Gerard, if the WICB paid you on the basis of your successor lack of with negotiations with Ramnarine…..

  15. But somebody is not telling the truth, as I said from the outset.

  16. And if so I agree that is unacceptable…but I’m not about to accept everything said by anyone at this point as gospel eh.

  17. Gerard, The WI players are still to hear from WIPA and president Hinds, about their issues raised in the October 4th letter

  18. Disclaimer: THIS IS A JOKE, OK?
    If it is true as Mark Pouchet has claimed that the West Indies players had their earnings cut by 75%, then today’s magnificent performance is proof positive that it was a great decision. Let’s cut back a likkle more and see if we can win the entire Series nah.

  19. And appears not to have been entirely straightforward with them

  20. Natural Mystic, I wouln’t want to say that Hinds is such, but he certainly seems to have been on a different page from the WI players

  21. Hinds is either a dunce or he taking a lil thing at the side

  22. I am still waiting to hear from the other 95% of WIPA’s membership what are their views on the new CBA/MOU. If they are not happy about it, then WIPA does have a serious problem indeed. I guess we will soon find out.

  23. Hassan C Araujo, your simplistic analogy is really not worthy of a comment eh, but I will indulge you this once. Surely you will appreciate that this entire brouhaha is between a group of players and their representative body (WIPA), though some would be happy to drag WICB into it. I would suggest that a more relevant analogy would be if the CAL Pilots were to mount a revolt against their own recognised majority union, TTALPA. Don’t you agree? And…be careful what you ask for eh, you might just get it.

  24. By the way, Gerard, what does institutional strengthening mean and how exactly do they account to the WICB for this “institutional strengthening”?

  25. Mark….Dinanath soon come back to head WIPA …just wait and see

  26. The move towards improvement should also be reflected in an improvement of how the players are dealt with. The players are obviously not on the same page as WIPA and so this movement forward can not be progressed if the current issues between the WIPA and the players are dealt with properly.

  27. Gerard it is a straight case of employers vs employees……like the pilots vs CAL…just like that

  28. There’s no disputing also that the WICB’s at times inept management also contributed heavily to the state of our cricket, but we must resist the urge to broad brush every move towards improvement as some sinister plot on the part of the Board to deny the players their just rewards.

  29. Yes I did, Mark Pouchet, more than two years ago and as a result I probably have had a good look at the finances and how they were distributed at that time. That is probably responsible, at least in part, for the state of our cricket over the years. At the time, the Board’s focus was on restoring some level of equity between the potential earnings of the “senior” players and those of the territorial and other First Class players, so that there would be a steady ‘pipeline’ of talent encouraged to emerge via the Territorial Boards. It’s no secret that there was a huge imbalance between the two groups at that time and, further, there was no real performance-based compensation system to reward excellence rather than mediocrity (or worse). It seems to me that both WIPA and WICB have reached an agreement on the way forward that both believe to be in the best interest of West Indies Cricket overall, which is what we should all be seeking.

  30. Gerard, I agree and for the purpose of full disclosure for the benefit of people on this thread , we should also disclose our relationship to this story. I am a reporter for the Trinidad Express who has covered the issues involved as part of my duties but I have never been paid by the WICB, WIPA or the WI players in any capacity. I believe you worked as on the WICB negotiating team at some point

  31. Gerard…your mantra seems to be WICB good and Players greedy and selfish……

  32. Institutional Strengthening, as has been done in the past. You should know that, Mark Pouchet. Is it too much to expect at least one or two journalists to delve beyond the usual trite “WICB bad, Players good” mantra?

  33. I hope you also want an investigative journalist to also find out what WIPA received US$500,000 for

  34. Waiting for an investigative journalist to find out who wrote the letter that Dwayne signed….

  35. Whose comments, Mark Pouchet? WICB’s?

  36. Check the comments under the WICB release

  37. But Mark Pouchet, your slip is showing…to what “WICB attempts to paint them as money-hungry, mercenary people only interested in fattening their pockets” are you referring? Seems to me that the Board has been careful to stay out of WIPA’s internal affairs in this matter. Some folks just don’t want our cricket to go anywhere it seems.

  38. Happy for the victory today, and hope that there will be more to come as the players focus their efforts on the field.

  39. Gerard, like you getting flashbacks of a familiar face lol