Lara backs Windies to survive

2014-11-04 19:02
Brian Lara (AFP)

London - Brian Lara believes West Indies cricket will overcome the threat of complete financial collapse caused by the team's controversial withdrawal from the tour of India.

The already cash-strapped West Indies Cricket Board was left facing a $42 million (26.2 million, 33.5 million euros) claim by their Indian counterparts for lost earnings after their side quit the tour following the fourth ODI in Dharamsala on October 17, even though the fifth one-day international, a Twenty20 match and three Tests still remained to be played.

That prompted the Board of Control for Cricket in India to respond by cancelling a tour scheduled for February and March 2016 to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international.

The current crisis in Caribbean cricket, and the reason behind the abandonment of the India tour lay in the unhappiness of some players at the pay deal brokered by their own association and the WICB.

But even if there is an internal resolution of differences between the West Indies Players' Association, the unhappy players such as one-day skipper Dwayne Bravo and the WICB, that still leaves open the question of India's financial threat.

The BCCI is one of world cricket's wealthiest national governing bodies and the WICB, one of the poorest, and many observers believe there is no way India will go through in full with their claim for compensation given the inability of West Indies cricket to meet such a bill.

Indeed the WICB, as is the case with several other national governing bodies, is dependent for a large part of its income on being able to sell lucrative broadcast coverage rights for an incoming tour by India, where the mass enthusiasm for cricket in the world's second-most populous nation makes it a huge commercial attraction.

And West Indies great Lara does not expect the BCCI to pull the plug on Caribbean cricket.

"I don't think the BCCI will be that severe on us," Lara told BBC Sport.

"I believe West Indies cricket will be alive. I don't think anybody has the intention to end our game," the retired former batsman added.

"We've got some of the best talents in the world, so I believe West Indies cricket is going to survive and it's now about how we take this forward," said Lara, one of cricket's all-time great players, who scored nearly 12,000 in 131 Tests, including 34 hundreds at an average of more than 52.

Disputes between players and officials are nothing new in Caribbean cricket -- indeed the inaugural West Indies tour of South Africa in 1998 in which Lara played was almost scuppered by such a row.

However, Lara said the current crisis represented a new low in West Indian player-administrator relations.

"There are implications and I believe the West Indies Cricket Board have found themselves in this situation because they have not learnt from the past," said Lara.

"There have been many little quarrels between players and board but it's the first time they are perhaps facing something as severe as this."

Read more on:    brian lara  |  cricket

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