St Lucia:The simmering rift between the West Indies cricketers and their board further widened after they boycotted the launch of the 2010 World Twenty20.
World Twenty20, which was held at the Beausejour Stadium here. The West Indies cricketers, under the leadership of Chris Gayle, were conspicuous by their absence despite the presence of the visiting Indian team, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dr Julian Hunte and ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, at the launch function on Saturday.
The players were protesting the WICB's decision to schedule the recent tour of England outside the Future Tours Programme and thereby clashing with the cash-rich Indian Premier League in South Africa.
Terming the scheduling of the England tour as "disappointing", West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine said it affected the earning power of players like Gayle, who had a lucrative contract with the IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders but had to travel to England mid-way.
WIPA alleged that while Sri Lanka called off their scheduled tour of England to give its players chance to compete in the IPL, the West Indies board did not keep the players' interest in mind.
West Indies players had clashed with their board over payments and sponsorship issues, and during the fifth One-Dayer against England here this year, they had even threatened to boycott the match.