WIPA files $20M lawsuit against WICB

Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan dropped
AP Photo/Bikas Das

The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the West Indies Cricket Board and a high court judge has ordered the board to respond within six weeks.

Players Rights And Pay

The WICB and the WIPA are in the process of negotiating players rights and pay. They are trying to establish a new agreement to avoid any further misunderstanding. The WIPA has alleged that the WICB has refused to grant unconditional No Objection Certificates to players who have no contractual obligations to the WICB or any teams under its jurisdiction.

No Objection Certificate (NOC)

Under the present WICB system, players require a no objection certificate from their member boards to participate in domestic tournaments in other countries, such as the IPL in India and the Friends Life Twenty20 in England. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo were given permission to play in the 2011 IPL.

The WIPA explained in its suit that the WICB’s decision not to issue unconditional NOC’s to those players who are not contracted to the board has resulted in the players not being compensated for the damages they have suffered and continue to suffer.

The WIPA is asking the High Court in Trinidad and Tobago to redress the situation by declaring the WICB’s position on the unconditional NOC’s to be contrary to public policy, oppressive, illegal and constitutes an unlawful strain of trade and to compel the WICB to issue unconditional NOC’s to players not retained or contracted by the WICB when requested.

In the 46-page motion filed before the court, the association stated that the WICB has engaged in a malicious, wanton and willful campaign to breach the express and implied terms of the collective bargaining agreements as well as impose unlawful and unreasonable restraints of trade on West Indies cricketers. The matter is before Justice David Harris of the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.

Conflict Resolution Entity

Is Needed

With the multiple conflicts surrounding the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association there is a need for an independent panel to investigate and come up with fair decisions on conflict resolutions, which is essential for the smooth running of the WICB. The conflicts have reached a high level and it is causing havoc with the smooth running of West Indies cricket. Any court decision either for the WIPA or the WICB will still further prolong more additional conflicts.

Absolutely There Should Be

No Winner

The level of understanding between the WICB and the WIPA should be one based on mutual respect, the understanding that West Indies cricket must be managed in the best possible manner with development being the intended motto. When conflicts arise between the two entities those conflicts must be resolved professionally without any victimization.

Cricketers must get what is due to them in the fairest possible manner. The WICB and the WIPA must be able to perform with the best interest of their respective forums for success and not failure or fights.