Lara calls for end to row over contracts

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The Independent Online

The Captain, Brian Lara, and six other senior West Indies cricketers have not been invited to play in the home series against South Africa and Pakistan despite making their individual sponsorship contracts available for scrutiny.

The Captain, Brian Lara, and six other senior West Indies cricketers have not been invited to play in the home series against South Africa and Pakistan despite making their individual sponsorship contracts available for scrutiny.

The seven were not selected because of a contract dispute which centres on a potential clash between the West Indies' main official sponsor, Digicel, and the players' personal deals with Cable & Wireless.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul have also been barred. The series against South Africa starts on 31 March with Pakistan arriving in May.

Lara says the matter can still be sorted out by adopting a "give-and-take" philosophy.

Lara said: "If it is felt I owe someone an apology, let me apologise for the negative perception created. Positive action is needed now and hatchets have to be buried."

WEST INDIES SQUAD (for Test series v South Africa and Pakistan): D S Smith, W W Hinds, X M Marshall, R Ramdass, D Ganga, S Chanderpaul, R O Hinds, N Deonarine, D J G Sammy, D J Pagon, C O Browne, D Ramdin, C S Baugh, I D R Bradshaw, D Mohammed, P T Collins, C D Collymore, D M Washington, R D King, D B Powell, J E Taylor, T L Best.

* The former England captain and former Bishop of Liverpool David Sheppard, who was the first ordained minister to play for England, has died. He had been suffering from cancer.

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