West Indies board denies rumour of player strike

The West Indies Cricket Board has denied rumours of a player strike on the eve of the first Test against South Africa today.

The West Indies have been unable to select their strongest team because of a dispute between main sponsor Digicell and seven players who have personal contracts with Cable & Wireless.

The captain Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards were not selected for the first Test, which starts in Georgetown today.

The WICB chief executive Roger Brathwaite said yesterday that he had no knowledge of an impending strike.

"We have had no communication with the West Indies Players' Association about a strike," Brathwaite said. "We have full confidence that the selected 11 will take the field.

"We are in constant discussion with the players' association and we sent off another proposal to them today. Hopefully, we will receive a positive response."

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who will captain the West Indies in Lara's absence, said: "We have been working hard at our camp in Barbados and the guys are prepared for the series."

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