West Indies stars could return to ODI team after CWI agrees to offer 'temporary amnesty'

FP Sports, Jul, 18 2017

The West Indies board has reached an agreement with the players' union for a "temporary amnesty", paving the way for Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine and other leading cricketers to return to the national one-day international (ODI) side.

Players have been embroiled in contractual disputes with Cricket West Indies (CWI) for several years, with the team even abandoning a tour of India midway through their 2014 series over a payment structure row.

File picture of the West Indies players celebrating. REUTERS

File picture of the West Indies players celebrating. REUTERS

The CWI currently only selects players for the international sides if they feature in the same format in domestic competitions. This policy has lead to many high-profile players being absent from the ODI side as they skipped the domestic 50-over tournament in order to take part in lucrative overseas Twenty20 leagues.

The CWI said in a statement that 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."

The agreement could see players like Gayle, Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Samuel Badree – who feature regularly in T20 leagues across the world – returning to the West Indies 50-overs side.

West Indies have had little success outside the shortest format and their weakened 50-overs side missed out on qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy, played among the top eight teams in world cricket.

They are ranked ninth in ODIs and could also miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

The top eight sides in the rankings at the 30 September cutoff, including hosts England, earn automatic berths, with the rest required to go through a qualification tournament to make up the 10-team event.

"We recognise that it is highly unlikely that we will now automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup," CWI Chief Executive Johnny Grave said in a statement.

"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."

Gayle recently played for West Indies in a one-off Twenty20 against India. It was his first match for the Caribbean side since their World T20 final triumph over England in April 2016. His last ODI was at the 2015 World Cup.

Dave Cameron, the CWI president, also stated in the release that a player registration process would be formed by October to ensure players show commitment to the national side.

“Also to come on stream is a registration process which will seek to “compile the full list of all players in the Windies system, male and female and all age groups,” he said. “This will show commitment on the part of the players to be available for the format/s of the game they wish to play; a commitment to participate in the regional set-up and to honour the system to be in place by then. Ideally, we must be able to identify the full slate and categories of players we have in the West Indies,” he concluded.

With inputs from Reuters

Published Date: Jul 18, 2017 | Updated Date: Jul 18, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115