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BCCI suspends Windies bilateral tours

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 21 Oktober 2014 | 21.24

HYDERABAD: Cracking the whip, a livid BCCI on Tuesday suspended all bilateral cricket tours with West Indies and decided to initiate legal proceedings against the WICB for abruptly cancelling its tour of India last week.

The tough stand by the BCCI, which has incurred heavy losses for the abandonment of the series, was taken by the all-powerful Working Committee which met to decide the future course of action.

The decision to suspend all cricket tours with West Indies and initiate legal action was taken "unanimously" by the Working Committee members.

"BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against West Indies Cricket Board due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour. All Bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a brief statement after the meeting.

The BCCI also appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for accepting the offer of playing a five-match ODI series at such a short notice.

"The Members appreciated the gesture of Sri Lankan Cricket Board for having accepted our request to play 5 ODIs starting from 2nd of November 2014, at such a short notice.

"This tour is in lieu of their scheduled tour to India next year which will be reciprocated by India touring Sri Lanka in months of July/August 2015," the statement said.

The venues for the five ODIs will be Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad and the detailed itinerary will be announced shortly.

The BCCI statement, however, did not specify the exact period of suspension of cricketing tours between the BCCI and the WICB.

It is learnt that the majority of the members were in favour of taking a hard stand against the WICB for aborting the tour after playing four ODIs.

The West Indians were scheduled to play five ODIs, one T20 and three Tests matches during the tour between October 8 and November 19.

The Working Committee was called to decide on the exact course of action and the amount of compensation to be claimed from the West Indies Cricket Board for abandoning the tour of India mid-way.

The aggrieved Caribbean players, who were persuaded to take the field for the fourth ODI in Dharamsala on October 17, conveyed their decision to call off the remaining part of tour to the BCCI.

Patel had earlier indicated that the BCCI would take a harsh decision against the Windies Board.

"We have suffered huge losses due to the decision of the West Indies to pull out of the tour. We are going to claim all the damages and pursue the matter with ICC," Patel had said.

"The working committee members will have dialogue on this and after that we may consider to not pursue further Future Tour Programmes (FTP) with the West Indies," Patel had said.

Hours after the West Indies pulled out of the tour, the BCCI approached the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and quickly cobbled up a five-match ODI series to be played from November 1 to 14.

The West Indies players were adamant to withdraw their service since they were unhappy with the new contracts, offered to them after landing in India.

As per the new contracts, agreed between the WICB and the Players Association (WIPA), the cricketers reportedly suffered a 75 per cent cut in their salaries.

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Bravo apologised to BCCI before leaving

CHENNAI: The relationship between the West Indies players and their Board might have reached breaking point, but Dwayne Bravo & Co have explained their situation to BCCI officials who know him well before leaving the country.

Bravo, one of the most popular players of the IPL, had called up senior BCCI functionaries and apologized for the way they had to leave the series midway.

It's understood that the West Indian captain had told BCCI that it was the last resort for them and it's something that they wouldn't have liked to do.

"Bravo stressed how difficult it was for them to abandon the series in a country, where they are so loved," an official said.

The West Indies captain told BCCI that the pay cut which the WICB imposed on them was upto 75%, which made it impossible for them to carry on.

"The likes of Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith are extremely popular in IPL and they were keen to show their mettle to the Indian crowd while playing for West Indies. But the situation really went out of hand for them," the source added.

The Board members maintained that they will look into the matter and see to it that the Windies players' interest is taken care of.

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WI pullout fallout: BCCI to take stock

HYDERABAD/CHENNAI: After being left red-faced by the withdrawal of West Indies midway through the India tour, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will take stock of the situation during the emergency Working Committee meeting, here on Tuesday.

The main agenda of the meeting is the course of action to be pursued against the West Indian board and the fixing of the itinerary for the five ODI series against the visiting Sri Lankan team.

There was a huge hue and cry by the board officials after the West Indians had pulled out after the fourth ODI at Dharamshala with some of the members calling for punitive measures against the West Indians.

"We have suffered huge losses due to the decision of the West Indies to pull out of the tour. We are going to claim all the damages and pursue the matter with ICC," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had told an agency.

However, a majority of the members feel that the BCCI should not go overboard over the issue.

"There is a need to send out a strong message to the West Indian board. We cannot take things lying down but at the same time we cannot jump the gun. We need to take stock of things in the proper perspective and make sure that the game doesn't suffer in this wrangling," a board source said on Monday.

"We will be making our protest to the ICC but the question of claiming damages and how much will be left to the wisdom of the members," the source said and added that the figures were still being arrived at.

Another proposal was to cancel the Indian team's tour to the West Indies tour in 2016 but sources said it would be farfetched. "It's too early to decide on those tours," the sources said.

Hours after the West Indians had pulled out, the board had approached the Sri Lankan board which promptly agreed to a five-match ODI series. However, as a return favour, Sri Lanka wants India to tour next year, reportedly for a three-Test series. Sources said board members were not averse to the idea.

The working committee will be preceded by the IPL Governing Council meeting where the issue of the West Indian players' participation in the IPL will come up for discussion.

Srinivasan to attend

Interestingly, N Srinivasan will lead the show as the BCCI ponders the West Indies issue. Board members feel that the ICC chairman, who is still awaiting Supreme Court clearance to take over as the BCCI president, needs to be there in person so that they can decide on the future course of action.

"He managed a crisis situation as BCCI secretary in 2008 when the Mumbai attacks happened and got the England team to come back for a Test series within 10 days. He was sorely missed this time around during the West Indies crisis," a senior board functionary told TOI. Srinivasan will attend the meeting as the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president.

The losses incurred by the BCCI have been huge following West Indies' pull-out and the BCCI is looking at the options on how to deal with the situation. They feel that it might not be possible for the WICB to pay an amount of Rs 400 crore even if they demand it.

"But that doesn't mean we can allow them to get away with it. The WICB gets to earn from ICC for their participation in the World Cup. We have to look at all the options on how to recover the money," a source said.

The BCCI has it's sympathies with the West Indies players who faced severe pay cuts. The members don't want to scratch their IPL contracts, but there is an issue of getting a no objection certificate from WICB.

"We have to see how WICB deal with these stars," a board source said. The BCCI, it is learnt, will try to ensure that the players don't suffer due to the "inefficiency of WICB."

The venues of the Sri Lanka series will also be decided and it's likely that the five centres that missed out following West Indies' withdrawal will get the ties. It means that the five ODIs are likely to be played in Kolkata, Cuttack, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

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Ojha unfazed about bowling action talk

HYDERABAD: Ahead of South Zone's Duleep Trophy semifinal against East Zone beginning in Rohtak on Wednesday, Pragyan Ojha was unfazed by reports that he could be at the receiving end of the BCCI clampdown on chucking.

There have been reports suggesting that the Hyderabad left-arm spinner's bowling action has come under the scanner with an official reportedly saying that Ojha has been pushing the limits.

"I am not aware of any such thing," Ojha told TOI from Rohtak on Monday as he prepared to marshal the spin resources of the South Zone team led by R Vinay Kumar of Karnataka. "BCCI is the best judge."

BCCI procedure stipulates that action of every bowler reported by on-field umpires is examined by a panel comprising S Venkataraghavan, Javagal Srinath and AV Jayaprakash.

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No sanction on Windies players in IPL

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 20 Oktober 2014 | 21.25

CHENNAI: The BCCI is furious at the manner in which the West Indies tour has been called off midway, but the Indian board is more upset with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) than the players. BCCI's top officials are so angry that they are even planning to pull out from the tour of West Indies in 2015.

The board feels that WICB has been unable to handle the situation which has led to this unhappy situation. "All the players wanted was proper negotiation but the WICB has mismanaged it completely. It's been an embarrassment for everybody that the series had to be cancelled midway. The board won't take it lying down," a very senior BCCI official told TOI.

One of the retaliatory measures can be a pullout from the away series scheduled next year, which can add to the financial woes of WICB. "The details of the series are yet to be finalized. We have to see what is to be done," the source added.

There's speculation that the BCCI might not allow West Indies players in the forthcoming IPL, but the board top brass believes such an action will be unnecessarily harsh on the players. "We have the documents which suggest that the West Indian players' salaries were getting reduced significantly. We don't see much of a reason to penalize the players. The issue is that it's an internal matter of the WICB which should have been handled much better," the official added.

Some of the top stars of the IPL - Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell (KKR), Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo (CSK), Darren Sammy (Sunrisers Hyderabad) - are from the West Indies and have played big roles in making their respective franchises powerful units in the tournament.

Lanka was kept on notice

Sources revealed that soon after the trouble between the players and the West Indies board started, BCCI asked the Sri Lankan cricket board (SLC) to be ready to tour India."We became apprehensive about something going wrong right before the first ODI in Kochi and we asked SLC to be ready for a situation like this," the official revealed.

Within three hours of the tour being called off, the BCCI ensured that the Sri Lankan team would be in India from November 1 for a five-match ODI series.

Meanwhile, the BCCI have called for an emergency working committee meeting in Hyderabad on Monday. "Yes, we have called an emergency meeting in Hyderabad on the 21st to discuss the West Indies issue and see what we can do about it," BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said.

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India coast as Virat cracks 20th ODI ton

DHARAMSALA: A day after claiming that his form-related woes are over, Virat Kohli hit a sparkling century to lead India to a 59-run win over the West Indies at the HPCA stadium on Friday.

With the tourists having withdrawn from the rest of the tour, India should end up 2-1 victory in the ODI series. But an official word was awaited on it.

Starved of a hundred in international cricket for 25 innings, Virat turned the corner against a Windies attack which was totally off the mark.

Virat (127 off 114b; 13x4, 3x6) made sure the opportunity didn't go waste and played a characteristic knock. The Delhi dasher first settled in and then went into overdrive, showing his full range of shots. The wristy flick towards mid-wicket, the inside-out cover drive, the punch off the backfoot all flowed from Virat's bat en route his 20th ODI ton.

In two important partnerships, Virat swung the match India's way as the team in blue put up a mammoth total of 330/6 on the board. He first added 72 runs with Ajinkya Rahane (68 off 79b; 7x4) and then came into his own in a 138-run partnership with Suresh Raina, scoring at nearly 8 runs per over.

Raina (71 off 58b; 3x4, 5x6) continued from where he left in Delhi, coming down the track to deposit the third ball he faced over the ropes. The southpaw hit four more in a rollicking association with Virat.

For most part of its run chase, the Caribbean team was not in the picture. India's new ball bowlers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav - bowled a stingy opening spell and picked up the wickets of Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard which set the Windies on the backfoot. Marlon Samuels (112, 106b, 9x4, 6x6) fought a lone battle, hitting his second ton of the series.

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Dark day for West Indies cricket

A bunch of Caribbean islands, each with their own governments, coming together for cricket is one of the greatest examples of a sports co-operative.

The hordes of problems in recent decades aside, the many differences were generally papered over and the facade of a unified front maintained in West Indies cricket. But on Friday when the Calypso boys struck the rather unmusical note of abandoning their India tour midway following a pay dispute with their cricket board, Caribbean cricket lay in tatters. The West Indies cricket collective isn't dead yet; but its spirit lies buried. Friday will always be a dark day in its history.

The fall of West Indies cricket and the rise of pay disputes have almost happened in synchronicity. During its glory days in the 1980s, West Indies primarily played for pride as best illustrated in the documentary, Fires of Babylon. But with the increasing commercialisation of the game, that viewpoint changed. But while countries like India developed the means and methods to create a money-making machine out of the sport which in turn helped the BCCI feed the hunger for money-share among cricketers, WICB faltered in a similar endeavour.

That's primarily because the popularity of cricket in the region declined over the years; football and basketball taking away not only the spectators but also promising talents. It became a vicious cycle. With no crowds, there was little sponsorship money. Gate receipts too dwindled. With frequency and percentage of on-field losses growing alarmingly, the crowds preferred to be elsewhere. Tests, once the go-to-place for the wild and the expressive, were now played to empty stands. Even ODIs didn't hold much charm. T20 was the only cash cow now. That too received a jolt when Allen Stanford, one of its top promoters in those parts, was arrested for fraud. He was sentenced to 110 years in jail in 2012!

The disjunct between the board and the players had started much earlier though. An article published in the Guardian back in 2005, recalled: "In 1998, just before the start of a South African Test tour, in the context of an extended pay dispute, the WICB sacked the then captain Brian Lara and vice captain Carl Hooper, beginning two tense, draining days of brinkmanship eventually won by the players. Lara and Hooper were reinstated but the team went on to lose the series 5-0." Contract payment and sponsorship related issues led to major stand-offs in 2004 and 2005 as well.

The sparring between the WICB and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has often included the sponsors too. And sometimes, unkind cuts too have been made. The Guardian story also talks about a leaked memo by a sponsor which "contained comments (called unfair by WIPA and contradicted by the team manager's report to the WICB) such as, if the players had as many runs as they had women's telephone numbers, they might have won the series."

In recent years, face-offs between WICB and WIPA became worryingly frequent. Ever since T20 leagues have sprouted over the world, the confrontations have become more intransigent. With the more talented players getting an opportunity to ply their trade globally, they have become less dependent on the Board. The much-written about dispute between T20 superstar Chris Gayle and WICB dragged on for 15 months from April 2011 to June 2012.

But the abandoning of a tour midway marks a new low. For fans of Calypso cricket world over, it is a distressing turn of events. There was a romance to West Indies cricket. Where's all the song and dance gone?

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BCCI takes note of gruelling itineraries

NEW DELHI: The scheduling of the recent India-West Indies ODI series which the tourists pulled out of with one game to go has come under the scanner.

The itinerary posed stiff challenges for the teams as they were supposed to travel across the length and breadth of the country with only two-day gaps between matches.

It was another matter that two games were not played - the Vizag match due to the cyclone and the fifth and final one at Kolkata because the tourists had already flown back home.

A look at the itinerary makes it clear that it was a punishing one. The schedule was like this: Kochi (October 8), Delhi (October 11), Vizag (October 14), Dharamsala (October 17) and Kolkata (October 20).

The only T20 match was scheduled for October 22 at Cuttack.

With the 2015 World Cup approaching, the BCCI would certainly not want the Indian players to get jaded and exhausted.

"It would have been tough for the team with so much travelling and inadequate unwind time. The players would be happier if the board could increase the number of rest days between matches," a BCCI official told TOI on Sunday.

Thankfully, due to the cancellation of the West Indies tour, the team got some much-needed rest. Otherwise, the players would have been nursing tired limbs by the end of the engagements.

After travelling to Delhi from Kochi, the team was scheduled to go to Vizag before returning to Delhi on way to Dharamsala before returning, yet again, to the Capital for catching a flight to Kolkata.

The BCCI reply was that the schedule was formulated in such a way because Delhi Police wasn't ready to provide security for the last phase of the home series just before Diwali.

In the earlier schedule, the T20 match was supposed to be played on October 22 in Delhi.

"It was later shifted to Cuttack and that led to all the changes," the official explained.

BCCI mandarins also admitted that keeping at least three clear days between the games was desirable.

"It's tough to keep three days between the games but the board is working towards such a schedule," a top BCCI official said.

With the Sri Lankan team coming for a five ODI series, the board is now thinking of a schedule which will cut down on travel time and the resultant toll on players.

In the Sri Lanka series, BCCI may keep the initial games in East Zone first before moving on to South or West Zone.

The series is likely to be held between October 28 and November 15. Kolkata, Cuttack, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore are the cities in fray to stage the matches.

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No sanction on Windies players in IPL

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 19 Oktober 2014 | 21.24

CHENNAI: The BCCI is furious at the manner in which the West Indies tour has been called off midway, but the Indian board is more upset with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) than the players. BCCI's top officials are so angry that they are even planning to pull out from the tour of West Indies in 2015.

The board feels that WICB has been unable to handle the situation which has led to this unhappy situation. "All the players wanted was proper negotiation but the WICB has mismanaged it completely. It's been an embarrassment for everybody that the series had to be cancelled midway. The board won't take it lying down," a very senior BCCI official told TOI.

One of the retaliatory measures can be a pullout from the away series scheduled next year, which can add to the financial woes of WICB. "The details of the series are yet to be finalized. We have to see what is to be done," the source added.

There's speculation that the BCCI might not allow West Indies players in the forthcoming IPL, but the board top brass believes such an action will be unnecessarily harsh on the players. "We have the documents which suggest that the West Indian players' salaries were getting reduced significantly. We don't see much of a reason to penalize the players. The issue is that it's an internal matter of the WICB which should have been handled much better," the official added.

Some of the top stars of the IPL - Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell (KKR), Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo (CSK), Darren Sammy (Sunrisers Hyderabad) - are from the West Indies and have played big roles in making their respective franchises powerful units in the tournament.

Lanka was kept on notice

Sources revealed that soon after the trouble between the players and the West Indies board started, BCCI asked the Sri Lankan cricket board (SLC) to be ready to tour India."We became apprehensive about something going wrong right before the first ODI in Kochi and we asked SLC to be ready for a situation like this," the official revealed.

Within three hours of the tour being called off, the BCCI ensured that the Sri Lankan team would be in India from November 1 for a five-match ODI series.

Meanwhile, the BCCI have called for an emergency working committee meeting in Hyderabad on Monday. "Yes, we have called an emergency meeting in Hyderabad on the 21st to discuss the West Indies issue and see what we can do about it," BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said.

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Windies wind up ongoing India tour

DHARAMSALA: In an unprecedented and shocking move, the West Indies players, on Friday, decided to call off their ongoing tour of India over a payment dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The team will not play the fifth ODI in Kolkata, neither the one-off T20, nor the 3-match Test series.

The BCCI, meanwhile, has invited Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series starting November 1. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has confirmed its participation for the series.

This sensational decision by the West Indian team came a day after the WICB made it clear to the players that it would engage only with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA). Dwayne Bravo and his team members, however, are up in arms against WIPA president, former batsman Wavell Hinds. The players contend that Hinds had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WICB without the knowledge of the players and such an agreement would lead to a significant cut in their pay structure.

The WICB, later in the day, tried to salvage the situation by saying that it had not pulled out of the tour and that it would be issuing a statement after the end of the fourth ODI. However, a release by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel clearly showed that the West Indies team manager Richie Richardson had informed the board at 2 pm on Friday itself that the team was pulling out of the tour.

"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 (Saturday) 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," the BCCI release quoted Richardson as saying.

Bravo, in a letter to the WICB president Dave Cameron on October 11, had sought the resignation of WIPA board and Hinds, saying it no longer represented the West Indian players' cause. Bravo, in the letter, had also requested the WICB president's "urgent intervention" to facilitate a solution.

A miffed Indian board hinted at suing the WICB over the cancellation of the tour. "The BCCI is shocked and extremely disappointed at the decision taken by the WICB," the board said in a statement late on Friday.

"The WICB's inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved. The withdrawal gives little thought to the future of the game, the players and the long standing relations between the BCCI and the WICB."

'ODI nearly got cancelled'

According to HPCA president and BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur, the West Indian team had actually decided not to play the Dharamsala ODI and it nearly got cancelled. However, last-minute intervention by Thakur and subsequent persuasion of Windies captain Bravo made sure that the game was played finally.

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