Dinanath Ramnarine was re-elected President of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) at the Annual General Meeting of WIPA held in Kingston, Jamaica, yesterday, June 26, 2003. Former Treasurer, Wavell Hinds, is now the Vice-President. Phil Simmons, the previous Vice-President is now the Treasurer, while Roland Holder and Reon King retain the posts of Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
Speaking on behalf of the WIPA Executive, Ramnarine said, “We are quite happy for the vote of confidence in us. Our members have strongly endorsed the actions and plans of the Executive and are extremely happy with the work we are doing and plan to do in the best interests of West Indies Cricket and all those who play, sponsor and support the game.”
Ramnarine said the WIPA members were fully briefed on the key issues, including the collective agreement now being negotiated with the WICB.
The Board has also promised to establish a retainer system with contracts for key players, as well as to provide training in communications and industrial relations for players.
Commenting on these outstanding issues, Ramnarine said, “We are still awaiting a proposal from the Board on the retainer system. We have heard a lot about it but so far have nothing concrete to which we can respond.
We are expecting to resume discussions on the collective agreement in early July, but again we do not have a document to react to. We are anxiously waiting on the Board. We want to settle these issues quickly so that our players can focus even more on cricket.” Ramnarine added that agreement is yet to be reached on player remuneration issues relating to the Carib Beer Cup 2003 and compensation for players injured on previous tours. Ramnarine disclosed that the new executive is now working on a retreat to be held in Jamaica in July.
The focus of the retreat will be on reviewing the present season, planning for continuous improvement, and working out what the team and players wish to achieve in the future. “We need to establish where we want to be and what we have to do to get there,” Ramnarine stated. “At the same time, we have to ensure that we continue the very noticeable improvement we have seen in the team, and to make them a cohesive unit that will eventually help us to regain our ascendancy in world cricket.”
WIPA is negotiating with prospective sponsors for support of a full programme of activities, including upgrading the educational and financial management skills of players, and involving former and present Test players in community and youth development programmes throughout the region.