Windies set to name top squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Windies set to name top squad

By Jim Morton 23/12/2004 06:17:22 PM Comments (0)

Cricket Australia looks set to avoid a financial disaster with the West Indies ready to send a full-strength squad for next month's one-day tri-series.

The Windies are understood to be poised to announce their best 14-man touring party, including batting maestro Brian Lara, for the series against Australia and Pakistan.

But incumbent captain Lara is no certainty to retain leadership of the side.

The West Indies Cricket Board has decided to wait until after the team is announced to name its skipper.

The Windies four-man selection panel, including new Australian coach Bennett King, selected the strongest team possible after a two-week training camp in Barbados this month.

But it has not been announced due to a lingering player contract dispute, sparked by a sponsorship wrangle involving the WICB's new sponsor Digicel and competitor Cable & Wireless, endorsed by many of the team's leading players.

With 16 players initially refusing to tour due to the dispute, a second-string Windies outfit would have been a major turn-off for Australian fans keen to see competitive international matches.

The dispute's mediator announced the tour was set to go ahead after the WICB and players association accepted the binding decision of an arbiter.

Justice Adrian Saunders' ruling on whether individual players were allowed to hold endorsement deals in conflict with the board's sponsor has been accepted by both parties but not released.

Mediator and Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said a full resolution was extremely close.

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