Cricket West Indies offer new contracts for top players’ return to national fold

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Cricket West Indies offer new contracts for top players’ return to national fold

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SportsCafe Desk


Cricket West Indies, after conducting meetings with the West Indies Players Association, reached a temporary agreement to allow the players back into the fold. Lately, Windies have been fielding a weakened outfit for 50-overs cricket with the big players not playing due to board's selection policy.

Now, after the decision, top stars like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo will make a return to the Windies One-Day International side. Windies are currently placed ninth in the ODI rankings and with only the top eight teams (as of September 30) guaranteeing automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup, Cricket Windies is keen to make it to the 2019 World cup in England, albeit through the qualifiers.

From many years everything was not going normal between the Cricket West Indies and the senior players as they were involved in contractual disputes. That even resulted in the team abandoning their 2014 tour of India midway through the series over a payment structure row.

"We recognise that it is highly unlikely that we will now automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup. So whilst the qualifying tournament has yet to be confirmed by ICC, we may only have eight ODIs against England and New Zealand in the next six months to prepare. It is crucial that we can have our best-performing Windies players available for selection in these important games."

Currently, CWI only selects those players for the international tournaments who feature in the same format in domestic fixtures. Because of this policy, many senior and experienced players being absent from the ODI side as they skipped the domestic competition so that they can take part in profitable Twenty20 leagues.

CWI said in a statement the agreement formed "part of a wider strategy to be more inclusive and to improve player relations aimed at re-engaging all players within our system so that they can perform at their best for the Windies teams," as quoted by Reuters.

CWI are now taking Steps to compile a list of players from all age groups - both male and female - with the registration rules set to be ready by October 2017. "This will show commitment on the part of the players to be available for the format/s of the game they wish to play," board president Dave Cameron said. "A commitment to participate in the regional set-up and to honour the system to be in place by then. We must be able to identify the full slate and categories of players we have in the West Indies."

Although all players will be available for selection, the board's cricket committee will submit their recommendations on the players' eligibility criteria. Currently, Windies have 10 points lesser than the eighth placed team Sri Lanka but can close that gap down during their tour of England next month.

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