It is now being revealed that the core group of players involved in the recent boycott of the India Tour had already made plans to travel to South Africa to participate in their T20 League.
Dwayne Bravo, Kieran Pollard, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell requested “No Objection Certificates” called NOC, in the midst of strike action which resulted in abandoning of the West Indies Tour to India.
The ICC and all T20 Leagues requires that all players obtain an NOC from their member Nations before these players can participate in the lucrative T20 leagues around the world. This was done to ensure that players put their nations first to protect the ICC future tour programme.
Ironically, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has always allowed its players to participate in these leagues while still paying their retainer fees and allowing them to return to the Windies squad when available.
Reliable sources are positing that West Indies T20 superstars do not want to adhere to the WICB and Richard Pybus’s “Windies first” policy thus their attempts to derail the new MOU/CBA between the WICB and their players’ union WIPA.
It is also important to note that the England tour next year clashes with the IPL and all of the Windies T20 Stars would consider it a no brainer as to where their allegiance lies. This may very well have been at the heart of their industrial action.
While many of the striking players would not have played in the test matches in India, it would have been prudent to complete the one day Tournament and take up their grievances with the union/board after.
The fact that Mr. Bravo and company applied for NOC to go to South Africa and may very well get them, while the bulk of the striking players will be deprived of any earning, is something to ponder upon. Selfishness and ungrateful are some of the words we may very well want to use to describe these players especially since the WICB is trying to ensure that payments to its players are reasonable and performance based while introducing a franchise system to pay regional cricketers and professionalise the cricket structure.
In fact, it was a franchise based structure that revamped South Africa cricket in 2003/2004 “Standard” tournament now called “RAM SLAM T20 CHALLENGE”. One South African writer said “The franchise system has become the bedrock on which Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) strategy to become a leading player in the world is based. It has produced strength versus strength contests that compares favourably with the domestic competitions in Australia, India and England which are generally regarded as having the highest standard of play in the world”. It is also important to note that these may be the only ICC members that pay their players more than the West Indies (well positioned at # 8 in the rankings).
We can only hope that the WICB stick to their strategy to use the franchise system and ensure their Territorial Players are assured of a living wage and the pool of available players is 105 and not 15. ‘Send the “Superstars” to Hollywood with an NOC and let those that are proud to wear our West Indian badge of honour continue to keep the flag flying’ a source noted.
Kaieteur Sport was reliably informed that the WICB will grant the NOC as they do not want to be sued for “Restraint of Trade” as was threatened by players in previous disputes.
However, while our Millionaire superstars will continue to ply their Trade and earn, they are asking the WICB to deprive ninety (90) of their colleagues from earning a living.
Yet, that may be the least of the problems if the mighty India unleashes its wrath against the WICB.
The WICB has no alternative but to go down on its knees before the powerful India, pleading leniency because of its players’ actions, while granting NOC to the so called “superstars” to roam the T20 leagues around the world especially the Indian Premier League. (Zaheer Mohamed)
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