West Indies cricket news. West Indies cricket plunged into further uncertainty and was left staring at financial ruin after an incensed Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) unanimously decided at its working committee meeting on Tuesday to suspend all bilateral ties with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
West Indies abruptly pulled out in the middle of an India series last week to sort out a payment dispute involving players, the players’ association and the board.
Left staring at heavy losses after the pullout, the powerful BCCI on Tuesday took a “unanimous” decision, in just under an hour, to suspend bilateral ties. West Indies players, however, will still be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“There will be no sanction against the West Indies players and they will be allowed to play in the IPL,” BCCI sources said, adding: “It’s too early to take an official decision on their IPL participation as it’s a very complex issue. The franchisees too have to be taken into confidence and the members feel that the players are not to be blamed for the entire turn of events. The West Indies pullout was because of a tussle between the players and the board over payments. The members do sympathize with the players and will not want to hurt them.”
However, BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur said a formal announcement on the matter would be made later.
Opening batsman Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore), all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith (Chennai Super Kings), big-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians) and mystery spinner Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders) are some of the Windies players who are regulars in the IPL.
A BCCI statement did not clarify the quantum of damages it would seek but mentioned initiating legal proceedings. India were expected to play five series against West Indies in the next eight years, including four visits to the Caribbean, all potentially huge money-making exercises for the WICB, which has emerged as the biggest loser in the entire episode.
After having hastily arranged a five-match ODI series with Sri Lanka in November instead, sources said BCCI officials were still calculating losses. “The figures are being worked out and it will take some time before we get an accurate picture. But it could be over Rs 200 crore,” a BCCI source said.
“All bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended,” said a terse note from BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel. “BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against WICB due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour.”
On whether the decision to snap bilateral ties would lead to changes in the Future Tours Programme (FTP), sources said the matter was for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide.