The West Indies’ handling of their pay dispute has been foolish to say the least.
The Caribbean outfit’s tour with India was cut short after it was confirmed that Friday’s ODI would be the last.
Bizarrely, it was India who initially revealed the news, which the Windies then denied, but later confirmed. The strange series of events leading up to their withdrawal says a lot about the haphazard fashion in which the dispute has been handled.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have apologised to fans for the situation, but do not seem to fully comprehend the impact of the decision on their own team’s chances.
World Cup preparation
The cancellation of the tour is not only majorly disruptive to their preparation for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, it could have an impact on the players’ willingness to represent their country in the future.
Evidently, the extent to which the players are unhappy with the WICB is now close to being beyond repair. The once-mighty Windies have slipped to eighth in both the Test and ODI rankings, with little sign of them crawling back to the top. Undoubtedly, the divide between the board and the players is in no way helpful to that quest.
Perhaps without realising it, the WICB have also now become embroiled in a further financial dispute; the Board for Cricket Control in India may now ask them to pay damages for the collapse of the series. In a statement, the BCCI also accused them of failing to take into account the relations between the two boards.
Only last week, Windies hero Viv Richards praised the players for their spirit in continuing in spite of their off-field difficulties. Now that has changed, it is the players, and not the board, who are coming under the spotlight.
Captain Dwayne Bravo told reporters that while the decision to withdraw was down to the players, it will not affect their attitude going forward.
“Everyone has stuck together despite what’s going on. We’re looking forward to playing for the West Indies again soon”, he said.
It remains to be seen whether his words will come true, but the reality is, going into 2015, it is the reputation of West Indies Cricket as a whole that has been tarnished.