Tony Cozier said that the current mess in WICB will turn off fans and youngsters away from the game © Getty Images
Tony Cozier said that the current mess in WICB will turn off fans and youngsters away from the game © Getty Images

Oct 27, 2014

Commentator from West Indies Tony Cozier said that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the players’ association (WIPA), and the West indies team underestimated the consequences of withdrawing from the India tour over pay dispute. Cozier wrote in his column for Indian Express that the issue could have easily been resolved if Dwayne Bravo had let his objections known to the board and the concerned officials including Wavell Hinds had flown to India to sort the matter out. He also warned that the existing crisis could drive the fans and youngsters away from the game.

“To me it seems that the players, their association, Hinds and the WICB really underestimated the consequences of pulling out in the midst of an Indian tour. I think they were shocked when the BCCI came out with a strong statement and followed it up by putting all cricketing ties with the West Indies on hold.

“When India tours these days — with television rights, advertising, sponsors and so on —they put a lot of money into the coffers of respective cricket boards. So West Indies will be looking on with trepidation,” Cozier wrote in the column. This is not the first instance of a pay dispute between the players and WICB.  Moreover, the players have started off on numerous tours without signing their contracts. This Cozier felt just shows the incompetence of the WICB.

While Cozier blamed the board for mishandling the situation, he also slammed the players for showing little empathy. According the commentator, players like Kieron Pollard, Bravo and others have already made a name for themselves in the Indian Premier League and have gained financially enough to place them among the elite.

“These fellows are wealthy guys by West Indian standards. Some players are as wealthy as any prime minister. So when they make that kind of talk, the fellow who’s saving up his money and coming to watch cricket (in the Caribbean) — a clerk in a bank or somebody in a low-paying job — it doesn’t ring true with them at all. I have to work 10 years to make that kind of money,” Cozier added.

He concluded his column on a caution that this mess in the WICB has discouraged the people from the sport more than ever before. And one can only be hopeful that WICB gets its act together.

Complete coverage on the cancellation of West Indies tour of India 2014