Georgetown, Guyana:Caribbean leaders have devised a plan they say could help end a two-month strike by senior cricket players over contracts, medical benefits and other issues.
Caricom, a regional trade bloc, issued a statement late on Friday recommending that the Antigua-based West Indies Cricket Board and the Trinidad-based players' association agree to binding arbitration. It also asked that the players get paid TV, image and sponsors fees until an agreement is reached so contracts could be signed by October.
"The current situation, if not resolved immediately, will no doubt destroy the fabric on which to base any hope of reviving the region's standing in international cricket, or building a solid future for West Indies cricket," Caricom stated.
Officials with the WICB and WIPA did not immediately return requests for comment.
The announcement comes days after mediation to resolve the contract dispute between the board and senior players collapsed.
Senior players, including captain Chris Gayle and star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, went on strike in July on the eve of the home test series against Bangladesh after negotiations with the board broke down.
The players allege that they played without contracts for most of this year, that they weren't paid, didn't have injuries taken care of, and weren't consulted when the board agreed to tour England in April as a substitution side.
The strike has forced the board to call up second-string players to represent the team at international tournaments.
Caricom said it intervened in the dispute even though cricket is run by an autonomous body because it said the game is too important for it to be ruined.