Ramnarine tells WICB `let good sense prevail’
World Cup pay talks continue this weekend By Adriel Richard
Guyana Chronicle
February 10, 2007

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Dinanath Ramnarine, executive president of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), hopes “good sense will prevail” and differences over pay for the Cricket World Cup 2007 can be settled amicably with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The Players Association and the WICB appear headed on a collision course over the level of remuneration for the players for CWC 2007 to be staged in the Caribbean for the first time from March 11 to April 28.

“We have not reached agreement yet, but I see no reason why we cannot,” Ramnarine told reporters at a news conference yesterday.

“Other countries have set certain guidelines for the remuneration of their players of which the WICB are aware, and I am sure they must be considering.”

Disputes over pay, sharing of profits, and conditions of employment have beset negotiations between the two sides over the last three years, and things seemed to have settled down when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year.

The players, however, made the recent trip to India under protest because the WICB again failed to meet their demands for a share of profits from the tour, and they again seem miles apart during this latest negotiation.

CMC understands that WIPA is pushing for a 25 per cent share of any guaranteed payments from CWC 2007 – an amount some other international boards have committed to their players – but the cash-strapped WICB has proposed a meagre two per cent.

“The players’ terms have been agreed with the ICC since 2003, so this is not really up for negotiations,” he said.

“What we are negotiating right now is for what is fair and reasonable for the obligations the players have to all the ICC sponsors, since there are a number of restrictions which prevent players from getting personal sponsorships during the World Cup.

“So signing the players’ terms for the World Cup will be subject to us agreeing on the level of remuneration for the players to participate.”

Ramnarine observed WIPA had proposed to the WICB that they start negotiations for CWC 2007 last September to avoid what is now occurring, but the regional governing body only came to the table last month.

“We are committed to making sure that our team has the best chance of going all the way,” he said.

“The last time we won the World Cup was 1979, and if we could win this year, I think it would do a lot for our cricket, it would do a lot for our people, and we will do all we can to ensure that this goes smoothly and that our players are not sidetracked by other issues.

“We will not, however, compromise on our principles and we will continue to do – as we have always done – negotiate in good faith and we hope we can reach agreement soon, so that our players can focus on the job at hand.”

Another meeting of the two sides is scheduled for this weekend in Trinidad, and Ramnarine believes that too much has been invested by the Governments and people of the Caribbean for it to be marred by another dispute.