Windies skipper rubbishes rumours of ODI boycott

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Captain Chris Gayle rubbished rumors of West Indies boycotting the rest of the ODI series against England because of a dispute with the national board.

Updated: March 27, 2009 08:29 IST
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Captain Chris Gayle rubbished rumors of West Indies boycotting the rest of the one-day international series against England because of another dispute with the national cricket board.

"There wasn't any threat made about boycotting any games, not to my knowledge," Gayle said after training on Thursday. "If the game wasn't supposed to go on, I'd be home cocking up my legs now.

"We're making a lot of progress (on negotiations with the West Indies Cricket Board) which is good. There has been speculation about no game and so forth but the games will be going on."

The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the WICB met in Barbados over the past two days to discuss players' concerns over a range of issues.

WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine, in tendering his resignation from the WICB last week, said that chief among the problems was the WICB's continued bypassing of WIPA on important decisions.

Also among WIPA's complaints were non-payment of fees for recent tours, retainer contracts and for injury compensation, scheduling of tours and provision for the Provident Fund which supplies pensions for retired players.

Gayle said he had confidence in Ramnarine, the former test legspinner, and his team would not be distracted by events off the field as it prepared for Friday's match. The series was level at 1-1 after the two matches last week in Guyana.

"We are all professional. I made it very clear to the players," Gayle said.

"When our guys step across the rope, we are all ready for cricket. We are all big men here so we have to take responsibility in whatever we do. At the same time, when it's cricket, we are ready for the game of cricket. This won't affect our game."

England has been boosted by the return to fitness of talismanic allrounder Andrew Flintoff.

Flintoff was laid low by a hip injury a month ago and he missed the final two tests of the series as well as the Twenty20 international and last weekend's one-dayers.

Captain Andrew Strauss was pleased to have back the 31-year-old for the first time since mid-February.

"Freddie is one of those guys that can win you a game with either bat or ball in one-day international cricket, which is very, very rare," Strauss said. "He's got the potential of having a decisive impact on the series.

"He's sounding very confident in his body. I think he's raring to go. You could see it in the nets yesterday how excited he was about getting back on the cricket pitch again." Flintoff was likely to replace offspinner Gareth Batty in the 11 that played both matches in Guyana.

Gayle said West Indies would likely choose the same 11 that won the second match in Guyana, meaning that new cap Dale Richards and the recalled Ravi Rampaul would miss out. Squads:

West Indies:

Chris Gayle (captain), Lendl Simmons, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderaul, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Nikita Miller, Fidel Edwards, Lionel Baker, Ravi Rampaul, Dale Richards. England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Adil Rashid, Ian Bell, Steve Davies, Amjad Khan.

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  • Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

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