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WICB could face US$65 million lawsuit after saving US$683,581   

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) could face a US$65 (TT$412) million lawsuit, according to the ESPN CricInfo, for abandoning its tour of India due to internal wrangling with its players.

This figure was calculated using India’s home series against the West Indies in the 2013/14 season as a guide and then multiplying the average revenue per day then by the 17 match days lost through the WICB’s pull out.

Photo: India cricket fans. (Courtesy Hindustantimes.com)
Photo: India cricket fans.
(Courtesy Hindustantimes.com)

The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), which is cricket’s wealthiest body, generates revenue through broadcast sponsorship, series-title sponsorship, team-title sponsorship and apparel sponsorship as well as from a share of advertising from the host broadcaster, gate receipts and in-stadia advertising.

BCCI general secretary Sanjay Patel said the board will receive legal advice by October 21 at which time its working committee will decide if to proceed with a lawsuit against the WICB.

“We have referred the matter to our legal cell and asked them to let us know by 21st about how we can pursue the issue legally,” said BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, who told ESPNCricInfo that the numbers were still being computed. “They [WICB] entered into a bilateral agreement with us, and they abandoned the tour due to their internal issues, so we will have to seek compensation. But, depending on the legal advice, the working committee will decide the future course of action.”

According to figures from the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), it would have cost the WICB just US$683,581 (TT$4.3 million) to save the series.

This was the maximum that the WICB could have paid, in addition to its current match fee structure, if president Dave Cameron agreed to ODI captain’s Dwayne Bravo’s proposal to revert to the old Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) until after the series.

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)

Bravo argued that, since the new deal between the WICB and WIPA was done without input from the players, it would be fair if all parties agreed to use the old agreement and postpone renegotiation until after the series.

“We propose the continuation under the old structure until a new agreement is reached between the players and WICB,” wrote Bravo, in a letter to the WICB president. “Neither the WICB nor the players would be disadvantaged by such a mutually agreed arrangement. We believe this to be a sensible and reasonable option in the interim, while we negotiate new terms and conditions that have been properly ventilated.”

But Cameron refused to budge.

“We must make it clear to you that we recognise and respect the principles set out in the MOU/CBA signed by ourselves and WIPA on September 19, 2014,” wrote Cameron, “and any involvement on our part could only be in accordance with that agreement.

“The document is explicit in that the West Indies Players’ Association is the sole and exclusive collective bargaining representative recognised by the WICB for all Cricketers i.e. all persons contracted by the WICB to play for a West Indies Team.

“What this effectively means is that we will only engage in discussions relating to the welfare, working conditions and remuneration of Cricketers with WIPA.”

The West Indies players viewed their new contracts as a “grave injustice” and Cameron’s position meant any lingering goodwill between the two sides had vanished.

Photo: West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds (right) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron shake hands on the players' CBA/MOU in September. (Courtesy WIPA)
Photo: West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds (right) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron shake hands on the players’ CBA/MOU in September.
(Courtesy WIPA)

The players vowed they would not play, the board refused to yield and the series was abandoned.

The WICB and WIPA admitted the senior West Indies players had not seen the CBA/MOU let alone agreed to it.

And, although the West Indies players threatened to strike on October 7, Cameron said yesterday that neither the WICB nor WIPA met the players in the 14 days before the series finally collapsed. All three parties communicated through emails; most of which were published on Wired868.

The WICB said yesterday it was due to meet the players on Monday in a meeting that would also be attended by WIPA president Wavell Hinds. Salary negotiations were not on the agenda.

The West Indies players were not interested.

Wired868 understands that the West Indies cricketers have not been paid for the four ODIs played in the series—one was cancelled due to bad weather—while several players used their own money to book flights out of India due to confusion over travel arrangements with the board.

The WICB blamed Bravo and the players for the aborted series and pointed out that its offer to bring replacement players to India was rejected by the BCCI.

Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a previous contest against the West Indies. (Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)
Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a previous contest against the West Indies.
(Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)

BCCI responds to the WICB:

The BCCI would like to clarify that despite all its efforts, the Micromax Cup India vs West Indies ODI series has been curtailed because of the ongoing issue between WICB and its players, and the withdrawal of the WI team from the ongoing tour of India.

The timeline of the WICB’s withdrawal is mentioned below:

7 October 2014:

Mr. Dave Cameron sent a copy of a letter addressed to Mr. Wavell Hinds, which stated that the failure of the West Indies players to take the field will leave the WICB with – ‘no alternative but to cancel the match and notify the BCCI accordingly and recall the team.’

8 October 2014:

Around 3:00 am India time, Mr. Dave Cameron sent a mail to the BCCI stating he is withdrawing the team from the tour. Mr. Sanjay Patel rushed to Kochi and spoke to the WI players and managed to get on with the match.

12 October 2014:

Mr. Patel met Mr. Cameron in Dubai and asked him for a confirmation that the rest of the tour will go on. Mr. Cameron assured that by close of business on Wednesday 15 October, he will confirm one way or the other.

AM of 16 October 2014:

There was no response from Mr. Cameron.

PM of 16 October 2014:

Mr. Patel sent a reminder mail to Mr. Cameron, seeking an urgent response.

17 October 2014 – 3:00 am:

Mr. Cameron sent a response stating that – ‘WICB are not able to provide any assurances or guarantees’ and that WICB will communicate their position by end of the day on 17 October.

17 October 2014 – 10:00 am

Mr. Richard Pybus of the WICB sent a mail to the BCCI stating – ‘WICB’s position is that if the players refuse to play then the players must return home and the rest of the ODI and Test tour is called off. This has been discussed with the WICB President and CEO and they are fully aware of developments here.’

17 October – 2:00 pm

Mr. Richie Richardson sent a mail to the BCCI stating the following: ‘Despite agreeing to play the 4th ODI in Dharamshala, regrettably, the current West Indies players have decided that they will not participate any further in this tour and wish to return home after this match. In light of this, I suggest that the entire squad travel to Delhi tomorrow and be booked into a hotel there, until international return flights have been booked. On behalf of the entire squad and WICB, I apologise for the inconvenience caused.’

 

This makes it clear that all along, the WICB was withdrawing its team if a resolution was not reached in the issue with their players.

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38 comments

  1. Thanks, you posted the whole article, I posted the link….just goes to show

  2. BCCI responds to the WICB:

    The BCCI would like to clarify that despite all its efforts, the Micromax Cup India vs West Indies ODI series has been curtailed because of the ongoing issue between WICB and its players, and the withdrawal of the WI team from the ongoing tour of India.

    The timeline of the WICB’s withdrawal is mentioned below:

    7 October 2014:

    Mr. Dave Cameron sent a copy of a letter addressed to Mr. Wavell Hinds, which stated that the failure of the West Indies players to take the field will leave the WICB with – ‘no alternative but to cancel the match and notify the BCCI accordingly and recall the team.’

    8 October 2014:

    Around 3:00 am India time, Mr. Dave Cameron sent a mail to the BCCI stating he is withdrawing the team from the tour. Mr. Sanjay Patel rushed to Kochi and spoke to the WI players and managed to get on with the match.

    12 October 2014:

    Mr. Patel met Mr. Cameron in Dubai and asked him for a confirmation that the rest of the tour will go on. Mr. Cameron assured that by close of business on Wednesday 15 October, he will confirm one way or the other.

    AM of 16 October 2014:

    There was no response from Mr. Cameron.

    PM of 16 October 2014:

    Mr. Patel sent a reminder mail to Mr. Cameron, seeking an urgent response.

    17 October 2014 – 3:00 am:

    Mr. Cameron sent a response stating that – ‘WICB are not able to provide any assurances or guarantees’ and that WICB will communicate their position by end of the day on 17 October.

    17 October 2014 – 10:00 am

    Mr. Richard Pybus of the WICB sent a mail to the BCCI stating – ‘WICB’s position is that if the players refuse to play then the players must return home and the rest of the ODI and Test tour is called off. This has been discussed with the WICB President and CEO and they are fully aware of developments here.’

    17 October – 2:00 pm

    Mr. Richie Richardson sent a mail to the BCCI stating the following: ‘Despite agreeing to play the 4th ODI in Dharamshala, regrettably, the current West Indies players have decided that they will not participate any further in this tour and wish to return home after this match. In light of this, I suggest that the entire squad travel to Delhi tomorrow and be booked into a hotel there, until international return flights have been booked. On behalf of the entire squad and WICB, I apologise for the inconvenience caused.’

    This makes it clear that all along, the WICB was withdrawing its team if a resolution was not reached in the issue with their players.

  3. The members of board have nothing to lose
    They will still collect their salaries
    Only us fans will suffer and the players not with IPL franchise will loose most

  4. What an embarassment to the whole region. The board could never recover if they have to pay US$65M. This is the end of W I cricket as we know it and regardless, it is fine time for the different islands to go on their own. Let the Jamacians keep the WICB board and WIPA. It is our fault for allowing such peeongs to control the regions only collective interest. Well done Mr. Hinds and Mr. Cameron. You are now in the History books.

  5. Oh lord why we always in the same bacchanal over and over about paying our athletes???

  6. II cannot believe that this agreement that was signed on September 18 between Cameron and Hinds was not made available to the players. So it is like changing glasses without prescription.
    Bravo asked Cameron to revert to the old agreement until the end of the tour. Cameron concretized his stance.
    Bravo and the team abandons the tour and WICB now faces a $65 mlllion US lawsuit from the Indian cricket board.
    I am now petrified that this imbroglio between these actors will have a deleterious effect on the future of WI cricket and jts relationship with the Indian crickIet board and the ruling ICC.
    Oh, the main sponsors of WI cricket (Digicel) want answers.
    CARICOM needs to call an urgent meeting to resolve this travesty.
    Michael Manley must be turning in his grave.

  7. I don’t think the players thought through what the repercussions of taking such a decision could bring and I fully agree the WICB should be held fully accountable as the head of WI cricket. They more or less admitted this by saying they will only negotiate with WIPA, well WIPA represents the players whether the players agree with WIPA or not. WICB now have a serious matter to deal with and the players have possibly made a decision that could affect every cricketer in the region.

  8. the wicb and wipa need to be disbanned

  9. The end of West Indies cricket. What utter shame and disgrace!

  10. Dem didn’t do maths in high school.

  11. How could the senior players not see the new CBA/MOU? Even if WIPA is supposed to represent me as a player I should still be privy to those documents!

  12. Have anyone else noticed, that these administrators who are given charge over groups of people who depend on them for fairness, openness and integrity, reflects the behaviour of out politicians in their treatment of the people they are suppose to represent…

  13. By that logic the players could have asked for 40m.

  14. Sue them to oblivion…dissolve WICB

  15. Why isnt the WICB held accountable to somebody or at least Caricom Heads of Government. This is a runaway organization which requires a complete overhaul if the concept of The West Indies is to survive ..

  16. The more I read about this debacle involving the WICB and the players who went to India, the more it intensive my thinking that those at the helm should resign peacefully and not further the aggravation…MR CAMERON AND MR HINDS…PLEASE WALK.

  17. AGAIN I say… FIRE FROM CAPTAIN TO COOK…INCLUDING WAVEL HINDS.

  18. Have you ever seen such a collection of bola de cabrones ?

  19. Penny wise and pound foolish

  20. Cacaholes, cacaholes everywhere.

  21. That’s for the foolishness of the WICB & WIPA ! The candle cost more than the funeral !!

  22. Two weeks ago I said they will try to make Bravo the fall guy. We must condemn the nonsense of WICB and WIPA.

  23. Wait is 600 000 odd dollars the players asking for? Well only a fool will prefer to pay 65 mil.

  24. Mark, I found that very strange too.

  25. *In Prof. Rex Nettleford’s voice*
    Happens when you have plenty dollars; but little sense!

  26. Lasana Liburd, the worst thing is Hinds who advised them not to sign the contracts

  27. I put the figures together into a Windies angle Mark Pouchet

  28. Told you it won’t end well..

  29. There are several visible and invisible issues to note ….if anyone in the WICB is interested in facts ,here is your opportunity to prove me wrong:
    1. The MOU is a unbalanced document ,that is asking too high a sacrifice on the part of the senior players ,while WICB board of directors sustain no pay cuts , and this according to your President is acceptable.

    2. WICB President goes to India ,meets with the BCCI ,fails to make any means of communication with the senior team rep ,and also to update the BCCI on the crisis ,and this was on the 16 th ,not very long ago is it ?

    3. And here comes the deal breaker ” Our hands are tied , we had no other option than to withdraw the squad from the tour ” So in other words , it was politically correct for WICB and WIPA presidents to refute the rights of some WI players and give numerous legal excuses as to why a compromise could not be made ,in order to save roughly under 700 K , break a MOU with the BCCI as per commitments to fulifll tour obligations by working swiftly to resolve issues ,and now consequently ,to be in the midst of succumbing to a massive 64 million lawsuit ….because it is a mater of principle to show who is boss, right ?

    4. One does get the feeling that some under the table arrangement was made ,so that Bravo could be appointed captain ,and that Gibson would be removed ,so that this new MOU would go off without a hitch. Apparently, Bravo broke that contract ,and he has seemingly been seeking the advice of a former WI official ,who has been at the centre of several impasses.

    It is right for a board of directors to make vague and empty promises to the share holders of WI cricket ,and not bother to deliver, or worry about the quality of the final product ,so long as profits are generated …and speaking of which …was it not officially said that the profits from CPL would serve to finance the the new FC, or did I dream reading that also?

    By all means ,fire Bravo ,but be fair and fire both Hinds and Cameron too .Be fair in the execution of your roles and responsibilities WICB and stop allowing egos and arrogance to get in the way of WI cricket .If you can’t find one reason ,then the BCCI will give you 64 million other reasons to get your act together and stop with the political innuendo.

    A disappointed ,but not surprised ,WI fan.

  30. Scotty Ranking

    Look how far the implications have reached now. The WICB has now been shown the true fecal extent of that stick they are holding. And worse yet is the fact that because the players have never signed any contract to play the ODIs they did participate in, they have no contractual liability for pulling out of the series! Cameron and Hinds must be spending some sleepless nights awaiting the BCCI’s decision. Their actions may just well precipitate the bankruptcy of the WICB.