Windies players told to sign or sign off
The bad news is players who refused to sign contracts with the West Indies Cricket Board will not be on the flight.
Last month, the West Indies team walked out of their tour to India because of a pay dispute with their cricket board and the West Indies Players’ Association.
Consequently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is suing the West Indies board for $42-million (R470-million) and could demand half their earnings, estimated at $100-million, from the 2015-2023 rights cycle for international cricket.
Indications are that the issues that led to the walkout are within sight of being resolved, but the West Indies board took no chances when they named their Test squad.
Said the board: “All players selected have been notified of their selection and that their selection is contingent upon their signing of the match tour contract, which was sent to each player selected on Tuesday, November 11.
“The deadline for the return of signed match tour contracts to the board is 5pm, Tuesday, November 18.”
Selection chair Clive Lloyd also warned: “There is a significant amount of international cricket to be played over the next six months, including Test matches against some of the higher-ranked teams in world cricket and as such it would be critical for the squad to get off on a positive note in South Africa.”
The Test squad will be captained by Denesh Ramdin and includes Chris Gayle – who is currently re-acquainting himself with South African conditions, which he last encountered more than five years ago. He is playing for the Lions in this season’s domestic T20 competition.
Batsman Kirk Edwards and off-spinner Shane Shillingford have been dropped, while fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, batsman Marlon Samuels and wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton will make their debut.
The three-match series starts in Centurion on December 17.
- West Indies greats Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, as well as erstwhile captain Richie Richardson, will be the guest speakers at a dinner at Supersport Park next month.
The event, at which former England international and Supersport commentator Robin Jackson will be the MC, will be held on December 15.