The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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WI players go on strike

Bridgetown: West Indies’ first-class cricketers went on strike for higher match fees Friday, stalling the first day of Carib Beer cricket series semi-final matches.

Barbados were scheduled to play its semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago at Barbados’ Kensington Oval Friday, while Guyana were set to face Jamaica at Albion in Berbice, Jamaica. But neither game began as players followed the instructions of their union and declined to take the field.

“We have reached the point where we have decided that the best thing for us to do is not play in the first-class game,” said Dinanath Ramnarine, president of West Indies Players Association.

The strike was called after talks between the Union and West Indies Cricket Board broke down last night. It was immediately unclear how long the players would boycott the field.

Players have asked for higher fees for regional competition and compensation for players injured while on tour, said Ramnarine, but would not give details about how much exactly they were seeking.

The cricket board said it had already increased fees last month, and questioned the union’s authority in negotiating on the players’ behalf, according to a statement.

The cricket board “in good faith increased the fees paid to players in senior domestic competitions by 20 per cent for non-international players, and 10 per cent for internationals,” the statement said.

The board asked the players association to show proof of membership and players’ consent for it to negotiate on their behalf, said Roger Braithwaite, the cricket board’s acting chief executive officer. (AP)

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