WI to tour SL without leading players

The West Indies cricket team will tour Sri Lanka this month without Brian Lara and most of its leading players.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Bridgetown:The West Indies cricket team will tour Sri Lanka this month without Brian Lara and most of its leading players due to an impasse between players the West Indies Cricket Board over guaranteed fees from sponsor Digicel. The named a weakened 14-man squad late Thursday, all of whom signed tour contracts for the six-week series of two tests and a triangular one-day series, which also involves India. The West Indies Players Association had requested US$150,000, but the cricket board only agreed to pay US$50,000. Chanderpaul to lead The 30-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who captained the team in the recent home series against South Africa and Pakistan, is the only senior player in the lineup and is retained as skipper. Of the originally selected squad of 13, only Chanderpaul, fast bowler Daren Powell and rookie wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin are included. Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, the chairman of the 15-nation Caribbean Community's subcommittee on cricket, criticized the board's decision Friday. "If the people of the region cannot go to a game or listen to a match and see our best talent on display they will turn away," Mitchell said. "This game is too important to our people for it to remain in this terrible state." Cricket board chief Roger Brathwaite said the players' pay demands were excessive. The fees for the Sri Lanka tour brought total sponsorship fees paid so far to 18 per cent of the yearly figure of US$3.375 million, with an Australian tour still to come, Brathwaite said. Sponsorship fees are paid in addition to the players' guaranteed tour and match fees, and are divided with senior players receiving the majority share. Brathwaite said negotiations were continuing to put in place a mechanism where a fixed percentage of the net annual sponsorship would be paid to players for the duration of the five-year Digicel contract. Lara, Gayle not on team The players missing are: batsmen Lara, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Wavell Hinds, and Devon Smith; plus fast bowlers Fidel Edwards, Corey Collymore, Pedro Collins and Ian Bradshaw. Allrounder Dwayne Bravo is also not touring. Eight players from the 'A' team currently touring Sri Lanka have been drafted in. They are batsmen Ryan Ramdass, Xavier Marshall, Runako Morton, Dwayne Smith and Narsingh Deonarine, plus fast bowlers Tino Best, Jermaine Lawson and Kerry Jeremy. Also chosen are batsman Sylvester Joseph, offspinning allrounder Omari Banks and left-arm seamer Deighton Butler. West Indies squad: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (captain), Ryan Ramdass, Xavier Marshall, Sylvester Joseph, Narsingh Deonarine, Dwayne Smith, Runako Morton, Denesh Ramdin, Omari Banks, Tino Best, Jermaine Lawson, Daren Powell, Kerry Jeremy, Deighton Butler. Coach: Bennett King. Assistant coach: David Moore. Manager: Tony Howard. Physiotherapist: Stephen Partridge. Strength and fitness coordinator: Bryce Cavanagh. (AP)

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