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ICC World T20 2016: Viv Richards backs West Indian players amid pay dispute

746   //    12 Feb 2016, 17:31 IST
Richards said he would like to get involved in the dispute if possible and help with his knowledge

The West Indies cricket team, that has been involved in a tug of war against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) amid a contract crisis, have found a considerable support from the West Indian legend Vivian Richards. The players and the board are locked in a bitter pay dispute that is threatening their participation in the World T20.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) could be forced to send a second-string squad to the ICC World T20 in India next month if the 15-man squad refuses to sign the contract before Sunday’s deadline.

Earlier this week, captain Darren Sammy had written a letter to WICB on behalf of the players and stated that they can't accept the 80% financial reduction.

The flamboyant cricketer supported the player by saying players should be given contracts well in advance.

He said, “In these modern times individuals know exactly what is their worth and when you have a tournament with Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy, all these are great Twenty20 players.”

Richards added, “What I believe is that sometimes the problem is that the board gives contracts too late and maybe that doesn’t give the players time to digest what is good and what is not good and they ask them to sign that immediately.”

I am hoping common sense prevails: Richards 

Richards also said it will be a significant loss for West Indian cricket if a second-string team is sent to the World Twenty20. He said, “I am hoping common sense prevails, if everyone comes to a mutual understanding then I think it will be okay. The World Twenty20 would miss all these guys.”

Richards is currently in the UAE as a mentor for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), told that he hopes the problem does not get out of hand.

“What I can see so far, and if it’s true, the West Indies players are getting pay cuts. I believe that at some point they may have to do some negotiations. Governance has been a problem in the past.

“I guess if you have good governance then you wouldn’t have problems. I, as a player, would sympathise with players because I know what boards can be like, what administrations can be like.”

The 63-year-old concluded by saying that he was happy to help the West Indies team. He said, “I would like to be involved. I can bring the knowledge I have.” 

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