West Indies Deny Calling Off India Tour
A day of confusion, claim and counter-claim began on Friday with the Board Of Control For Cricket In India(BCCI) saying that the touring West Indians had abandoned their tour following an internal dispute and were flying home after Friday's one-dayer.
"The West Indies Cricket Board advises, that, contrary to media reports, it has taken no decision to discontinue the ongoing tour to India," a statement read. The statement was also posted on their official Facebook page. (West Indies Pullout of India Tour)
"The WICB will make a further statement following the conclusion of the fourth one-day international which is in progress." (Also read: BCCI to review West Indies' players' participation in IPL | 'BCCI Shocked')
A day of confusion, claim and counter-claim began with the Board Of Control For Cricket In India(BCCI) saying that the touring West Indians had abandoned their tour following an internal dispute and were flying home after Friday's one-dayer.
The BCCI said Sri Lanka had stepped in.
The WICB and the West Indies Players Association signed a new agreement last month covering pay and conditions but it was rejected by the senior players, including one-day captain Dwayne Bravo who claimed they were kept in the dark and demanded WIPA chief Wavell Hinds's resignation.
The players subsequently issued a strike threat but eventually took to the field and were playing the fourth ODI at Dharamsala when an angry BCCI confirmed the abrupt end to the tour, which also included a fifth one-dayer, a Twenty20 International and three test matches.
"The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has informed the BCCI of its decision to cancel the rest of its ongoing tour to India because of a dispute with its players, and has advised the BCCI that its players will return home immediately," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
Bravo turned up for the toss with the entire team accompanying him in what looked like a show of unity.
"My team is standing behind me, it's been a tough situation...it's time we have to make a decision," said the 31-year-old all-rounder.
The apparent abrupt withdrawal, however, angered the world's richest cricket board with the BCCI criticising the "unilateral" decision.
"The BCCI is shocked and extremely disappointed at the decision taken by the WICB," Patel said.
"The WICB's inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved."
Patel said the Indian board made several appeals to the WICB to honour its commitment and complete the tour.
"The BCCI will pursue all options available to protect its rights, whilst seeking appropriate action from the ICC to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion," he added.
The Indian board moved swiftly to fill the void and within hours convinced Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to send team for a five-match ODI series starting on Nov. 1.
"The BCCI wishes to thank SLC for its swift response and for extending its support to ensure that the international cricket season is not curtailed," Patel said.