Ramnarine quits as WICB director

Another disagreement be-tween the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has rocked the West Indies team on the eve of today’s opening One-Day International (ODI) against England at Providence in Georgetown today.

It coincides with the resignation of WIPA president and chief executive Dinanath Ramnarine as a director of the WICB.

Although the players boycotted a cocktail reception arranged by team sponsor, Digicel, in Georgetown last night, action reportedly in protest against the WICB’s decision to bypass the WIPA and offer new retainer contracts directly to players, they seemed prepared to play in today’s match.

They turned out for their scheduled practice session yesterday while Ramnarine and WICB officials considered their next moves.

Coach John Dyson and other support staff did turn up to Wednesday night’s reception.

Ramnarine, the former Test leg-spinner, was first elected WIPA president in 2002 and was re-elected late last year.

He was brought onto the WICB in 2007 by new president, Julian Hunte.

Ramnarine issued a statement on Thursday explaining his decision to quit the WICB.

“One of the first things that we agreed was that we would no longer conduct our affairs in public,” he said. “We, at the West Indies Players Association, have kept our side of the bargain and until recently, both sides for the most part displayed mutual respect for each other’s positions.”

“Unfortunately, while a number of issues were discussed and agreed in most cases, no implementation whatsoever has taken place,” he addedd. “While my organisation was prepared to give some time for action to be taken, that time has expired.”

He said he understood that “contrary to what was agreed between the board and our association”, new retainer contracts were sent directly to players “without the concurrence of WIPA and the players’ rights holders, the West Indies Players’ Management Company Limited”.

“In other words, we have taken two steps backward,” he added.

He charged that players who were injured while representing the West Indies had not been paid “contrary to the terms and conditions of the very retainer contracts”.

“Despite this non-payment, the board is expecting players to sign new retainer contracts,” Ramnarine said.

According to the WIPA chief, players who toured New Zealand late last year would only receive “a small portion of the figures contained in the agreement” contrary to what WIPA believed had been agreed upon.

“In the circumstances, I believe that my position at the board has become untenable, given the direction in which the board seems to be heading,” Ramnarine wrote to Hunte in his letter of resignation.

In spite of his decision, he said he “firmly” believed that  the WIPA should always be represented on the WICB board of directors.

“However, that representative would only be able to be effective if and when the structure of the board is changed to facilitate the best interests of all stakeholders of West Indies cricket,” he added.

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