Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell has said he is prepared to act as a mediator in the ongoing pay dispute between the cricketers, West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that led to abandoning of the India tour by the team last week. (BCCI hits back, cancels tours to West Indies)
Mitchell's comments came even as the WICB directors prepared to meet here Tuesday in an emergency meeting to assess the fall-out from the players' unprecedented move, especially after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Tuesday decided to suspend all bilateral tours and initiate legal action against the Caribbean board, reports Caribbean Media Corporation. (West Indies players allowed to participate in IPL)
"I don't understand this one, I assume all the facts are not available, I can't believe what appears to be on the surface is really the issue, there must be something more significant than this. Something is not right," Mitchell said Monday.
Mitchell said the players are all aware of his passion for the game and would be prepared to do everything to ensure an amicable solution to the impasse.
"They know my passion for the game itself and how much I have shown interest in the players' development as a whole," he said. (Must read: West Indies face enormous cash crunch after BCCI's strong stand)
"I am deeply concerned. So anything I am asked to do with a clear understanding what the issues are, I would certainly not remove myself, but I would have to be asked by the parties involved to intervene in any serious way."
The WICB met in a hastily arranged teleconference last Friday hours following the players' decision and will now meet here to decide on the way forward.
Mitchell described the action as a "big shock for himself and cricket loving people in the region".
"Clearly there is going to be a lot of reverberations from this. There must be contracts and signed arrangements that involve costs and the image of the region and the image of our cricket team certainly will suffer."
Mitchell also said the latest crisis had the ability to adversely affect Caribbean economies, especially since regional governments had invested substantial amounts in constructing stadia and other facilities.
Upset over WIPA's refusal to renege on the recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the WICB, the West Indies players walked out of the tour following the fourth One-Day International (ODI) in Dharamsala last Friday.
They have claimed that the new agreement resulted in a drastic reduction in their earnings and have called for the resignation of WIPA president and chief executive Wavell Hinds as well as a return to the terms of the old CBA.