The Dwayne Bravo-led West Indies team and president of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), Wavell Hinds, appear headed on an unavoidable collision course.
This follows Hinds’ dismissal today of Bravo’s call for him to resign from his post with WIPA. The former Jamaica and West Indies batsman said he would not resign his position in the wake of the fall-out with members of the West Indies team in India.
Hinds told the media in his homeland that Bravo and the players had no authority to ask for his resignation. He added there was a process embedded in WIPA’s Memorandum and Articles of Association regarding the election and removal of officers.
The WIPA boss explained that Bravo’s call for some members of the current executive and board to resign was not supported by that process. Hinds said the executive members were placed in charge by the rules of the association and would leave only according to the will of the majority of WIPA’s membership as provided for in those rules.
Hinds further indicated that Bravo’s intention to inform the WICB not to take any instruction from the current executive had no merit.
He said the duly elected executive of the WIPA was the only organisation which the WICB would recognize and deal with in matters to do with West Indian cricketers.
Yesterday Bravo demanded Hinds’ resignation and other officials related to the players association on charges of conflict of interest.
In a letter to Hinds, Bravo said the players had lost confidence in him because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding he signed with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on behalf of their behalf.
Bravo charged that the players were never given an opportunity to consider the Collective Bargaining Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed. Bravo made it clear the players would inform the WICB not to correspond with WIPA until an “interim measure” acceptable to all was put in place.
“We the players have now lost all confidence in your ability to properly represent the players in any meaningful way and as such, we are calling on the Officers of WIPA and any of those who may have a conflict of interest to tender their resignation unconditionally with immediate effect. This would allow us the right to seek the necessary advice of professional advisors who we have confidence in and take the necessary course of action as we see fit. We shall inform the WICB, that they are not to take any instructions from any of the Officers until such time as we are able to consult with the members of WIPA to put in an interim measure that is acceptable to all.
“The players will not accept any agreement it has had no input in, did not give its consent to and which would infringe on its rights. We reserve all of our rights and intend to seek independent advice so as to establish the players best course of action. For the record, we wish to reiterate our position put forward to the WICB earlier, that we continue under the old structure until a new agreement is reached between the players and WICB,” Bravo said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the internal wrangling in WIPA has caught the attention of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The BCCI expressed hope that the current series against West Indies would not be affected by the ongoing dispute. The BCCI also revealed that it had played the role of mediator when the situation reached crisis point before the first ODI in Kochi won by the West Indies yesterday.
It is understood that the BCCI’s assurance to the West Indies players, to stand by them during their fight against the WICB and WIPA, was the key factor in the team’s decision to play.
“I spoke with the boys and assured them the BCCI will discuss their problems with the WICB and help arrive at an amicable solution at the earliest [opportunity]. We are hopeful that the series will not be affected,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told ESPNcricinfo.
It has been reported that the WICB chief Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron thanked Patel for playing the mediator’s role in an email sent today.
However, the BCCI secretary has denied rumours that the Indian board had sanctioned a loan to the WICB to pay its players.
“I have been told that some of the regional media houses are running stories to this effect, even quoting the amount. Let me make it clear – nothing of this sort has been even discussed in the BCCI since the rules don’t allow us. No financial transaction has taken place,” Patel said.
Despite that assertion it is understood that during last year’s hastily organised series in India, which was also Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series, the BCCI had borne the daily allowance expenses of the West Indies players.