Lara heads Windies squad after contract dispute
LONDON: Brian Lara will head a West Indies 14-man squad for a triangular one-day international tournament against hosts Australia and Pakistan starting next month. The squad was announced by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) following a sponsorship dispute between the board and players. The issue revolved around a potential clash between the team’s main official sponsor, Digicel, and sponsors backing individual players. Lara was one of the players involved.
The WICB said in a statement issued from St John’s, Antigua, that there were “a number of issues still unresolved” but that a compromise had been reached with the West Indies Players Association and the sponsors.
The board said it would “not under any conditions accept that it did not own the rights to the West Indies team” but hoped to clear up all outstanding issues by the end of the month.
The row echoed a similar dispute that threatened India’s participation in the 2003 World Cup, when the players were told by the International Cricket Council (ICC) they would not be allowed to endorse companies regarded as rivals to the tournament’s official sponsors. The West Indies squad leaves for Australia on 29 December. The tournament begins on January 14 in Melbourne and concludes with a best-of-three final on February 4, 6 and 8.
West Indies squad:
Brian Lara (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice captain), Christopher Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Ryan Hinds, Courtney Browne, Ian Bradshaw, Pedro Collins, Mervyn Dillon, Reon King, Xavier Marshall. reuters