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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.”

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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. Indeed Mark Pouchet, this was an excellent effort considering the strike talk etc & its the kind of performance that I’ve generally believed this talented group of player should be doing more consistently ever since they won the T20 world cup.

    This post Tendulkar era India team continues to look average, all year they have been beaten badly by N Zealand, S Africa & England. This game shows shows a windies team playing to full potential, can easily will all series on this tour.

  2. Perhaps WIPA learned negotiation skills from Watson Duke?

  3. Oh yes, glad the players took the field and galloped to victory to neutralise the WICB attempts to paint them as money-hungry, mercenary people only interested in fattening their pockets. Well they dealt with business on the field. Now they will professionally deal with issued off it.

  4. Mark my words Ramnarine on his way back to head WIPA……..

  5. Who is the familiar face you speak of, Gerard?

  6. Even if they do not strike, I can’t see them having confidence in him after this .

  7. Wavell Hinds has undone what Ramnarine has fought so hard and at times bitterly for !

  8. Dear Wavell: The full letter from the West Indies cricket team demanding Wavell Hinds’ immediate resignation and directing the WICB that WIPA no longer has the players’ support
    http://wired868.com/2014/10/08/dear-wavell-wi-cricketers-demand-wipa-presidents-resignation/

  9. When the smoke finally clears, don’t be surprised to learn that a familiar face is lurking behind all of this….Backward ever forward never yes.

  10. It seems like good sense has prevailed. Rally ’round the West Indies, now and forever!

  11. I agree on both points Fulton. If the players strike, he has to do the honourable thing and resign. Because he would have failed the WICB AND the players.

  12. West Indies cricketers refuse to play ODI; confusion in India as WICB, WIPA and players at loggerheads over controversial new contracts
    http://wired868.com/2014/10/08/wi-refuses-to-play-odi-confusion-between-wicb-wipa-and-players/

  13. I can’t see Wavell Hinds surviving this.

  14. I can’t see how I could be negotiating on behalf of someone or a group and that someone or group isn’t fully aware of what I am proposing to the other side and what I have eventually decided except after the fact. It does not make sense.

  15. Mark Pouchet, I am not dodging your point about a 75% decrease…I simply do not believe that it is true.

  16. And WIPA come out rel noce in this deal boy.They getting US $500, 000 from the WICB….somebody was talking about sellout early…(whistling in the wind)

  17. Sure but the fact is 20 workers were working for a certain salary before. So you still dodge my point about the 75 per cent decrease.

  18. Mark Pouchet, I’m sure you realize that WIPA does not represent only the top 15 or 20 players in West Indies Cricket, at least not any longer. It would be interesting to hear what ALL of WIPA’s membership has to say about the new arrangements.

  19. Gerard, if you negotiated for me and came back and told me we got a 76 per cent decrease, i would not wait until court to settle that issue 🙂

  20. The point is a 75 per cent decrease

  21. Those are my figures, should havw said that just as an example

  22. Now WIPA and Hinds have no choice but to release the full details of the CBA and MOU to the West Indian public

  23. But Gerard surely you are not saying if you were being paid 100,000 as your previous fee, that you would expect 25,000 at the end of a negotiation period
    …that could never fly in any other union in the world, they would have been fired forthwith

  24. Hmmmmmm, so what did WIPA agree to? Or rather why did they enter this MOU knowing that it was not in the best interest of the players?

  25. 115 regional cricketers will now benefit from having retainer contracts as a result of the new CBA/MOU, instead of a small group of so-called “elite” players getting very well paid regardless of their performance. Hmm…seems like a positive change to me.

  26. If WICB put $2 for a 10 year tour, WIPA doesnt have to accept it

  27. WICB has to save their blushes because they signed a bona fide agreement with the leader of the players’rep Hinds and WIPA.
    The issues are stemmimg from WIPA

  28. One would think that the WICB had turned a page and would move forward. But it is a wasted thought. Nothing has changed with the WICB !

  29. So wipa & wicb came up with a grand plan to pay the players less? Wow… Bravo should hire Watson Duke to help them with the strike. I would have said Kublalsingh but he’s currently busy.

  30. I understand, like WICB press releases, they are almost always self serving and well angled

  31. And Mark Pouchet, the quote above was taken from a WIPA Press Release eh.

  32. Wait ent the 2 Presidents is from Jamaica WIPA & WICB hmmmmm something smelling nasty

  33. There is clearly a need for some lessons here on Industrial Relations, Collective Bargaining and the status of a Recognised Majority Union. I suspect that these will be forthcoming in the days ahead, but it’s high time that the tail stop wagging the dog!

  34. As soon as Ramnarine step out of WIPA the foolishness started again. The players will not boycott just so.

  35. An article is not proof by the way, the West Indies people need to get the breakdown and the timeline of the players and WIPA interaction with their president and how that led into the now controversial signing of the CBA and MOU with the WICB

  36. The previous CBA/MOU was clearly not working in the best interest of West Indies Cricket and change had to come. It would be interesting to hear the views of ALL of WIPA’s members on the new arrangements that provide the means for engaging over 100 players on retainer contracts rather than just the senior players. I suppose time will tell, but the direction seems strategically sound to me from what I have heard and read.

  37. Everybody gonna fly to cover their ass on this but hopefully the facts will come out

  38. Clearly, the players don’t feel WIPA represented them in this matter.

  39. “The Secretary went on to explain how this was achieved through the sacrifice made by some of its members for the benefit of their fellow cricketers – and had high praise for the gesture.
    This is a true example of players understanding the concept of the “greater good”. Our executive made a presentation to our AGM in February, which spoke to one of the ways in which these new retainers could be funded. It involved allowing the WICB to reallocate about $2.3 million which represented amounts paid annually only to those cricketers who were selected to the senior WI team”, he said. “This amount was paid to WI senior team members for the use of their image rights during the course of each calendar year and was based on a figure of $35,000 for each day of cricket played.
    Lewis explained that during the meeting, players who were likely to be affected expressed a willingness to make the sacrifice, provided that WIPA’s executive made every effort to ensure that the shortfall in their accustomed annual earnings created by their action was made up through the negotiation of increased payments from their other revenue sources.” – Excerpt from an article on WIPA’s website.

  40. Let’s all chant the mystic mantra . All yuh ready? …..”Dinanath,Dinanath,Dinanath”
    Repeat 5,000 times.

  41. WIPA get buy out…. Well yes ah weak lol

  42. Surely, we are better than this latest episode but when the ghosts of mistrust peek their heads in the deal, the results can be dire

  43. Lol! West Indies incompetence exposed to the world
    ….yet again somebody has to step in to save the day for us

  44. The most funny, disturbing and potentially embarrassing rumour I heard since this story drop from my India media friends is that Mahendra Dhoni has stepped in to help ease the situation.

    He offeried to help raise or is asking the BCCI to find the money the Windies players claims has been cut short to them, just so that a full strength WI team can play.

  45. Gerard Emile Zatopek Pinard, my information is that it isn’t an elite bunch of dissenters at all.
    They asked the A team to play in their place. Almost the entire A team refused.