West Indies contract crisis now in the past, says Richardson

Johannesburg, Dec 4: Team manager Richie Richardson says the West Indies have moved beyond the recent controversial impasse with their union and board and are fully focussed on the upcoming Test series against South Africa.

Also read: West Indies pull out of India tour

The Caribbean side are touring in the wake of the one-day team's controversial decision to abandon the tour of India over a contracts dispute with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), reports CMC. (The crisis which led to cancellation of India tour)

File photo of Richie Richardson

While the impasse initially cast doubt over the South African tour, Richie said the situation had now settled down and the squad was focussed on events on the field.

"In recent weeks we haven't had any discussions with regards to that, which is a good thing. It means we are not focussing on what has happened," the former Test captain said.

"We are now focussing on the future which is here in South Africa. We're here to play Test cricket, initially, and that is our focus. All the players are pretty much ready for the challenges we're going to face.

"We know it's not going to be easy especially with South Africa here at home but we are prepared and we are going to give of our best and try and give a good account of ourselves."

The decision to abandon the India tour led to a full blown crisis in the Caribbean game and triggered a series of high-level meetings between cricket officials, chaired by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

With the abandoned tour also leading to the cancellation of the three-Test series, an infuriated Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodged a $42 million claim of compensation for losses before the WICB, an action that threatens to bankrupt West Indies cricket.

Despite rumours of sanctions for players involved in the walk-out, selectors chose a full strength side for South Africa. This week, however, superstar opener Chris Gayle opted out of the series with injury.

West Indies, who arrived here Tuesday, play a three-day match starting next Wednesday in Benoni, ahead of the first Test which bowls off at Centurion Dec 17th.


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