Woeful Windies headed for a hiding - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Woeful Windies headed for a hiding

By Adam Cooper and Jim Morton 25/11/2004 10:23:59 PM Comments (0)

Cricket Australia has a fresh promotional crisis with the upcoming triangular one-day series in danger of being reduced to a farce after the West Indies dumped 16 players over a contract dispute.

Captain Brian Lara and 15 others were axed from a 25-man preliminary tour squad because of their contracts with Cable and Wireless, a telecommunications rival of Digicel, which recently signed a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the West Indies Cricket Board.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, Wavell Hinds, Chris Gayle, wicketkeeper Courtney Browne, bowlers Marlon Samuels and Corey Collymore are other frontline players involved in the drama.

With the core of its team unlikely to tour and the board unlikely to budge, Australia will be faced with a repeat of last summer's tri-series, where minnows Zimbabwe made for a crowd but not a contest.

The Windies are currently equal fifth on the International Cricket Council's one-day table and although they have made on-field progress by winning the Champions' Trophy in September, just two members of that side - Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ricardo Powell - will come to Australia.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland said the West Indies had an obligation to send its best team for the series.

"The West Indies tour, in cricket terms, is still a long way off. We would hope that the West Indies and their players can resolve their issues," Sutherland said in a statement.

"The West Indies have an obligation to tour Australia and our expectation is that we will host them in January."

However Sutherland said CA was monitoring the situation.

One possibility would be inviting another country for the series.

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