West Indies forced to pick 16-year-old

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The Independent Online

West Indies were forced to name a second-string squad for the first Test against Bangladesh after their more established names pulled out due to an ongoing contract dispute. The likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan will sit out the game in Kingstown due to the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) recommending a boycott because of a long-standing row over retainer contracts for players.

Their absence has led to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) having to cobble together a squad of veterans and youngsters. The team will be captained by Floyd Reifer, who last played a Test in 1999, while 16-year-old Kraigg Brathwaite has been included in a 15-man party. Rain delayed the start yesterday, meaning the home side delayed naming their XI.

Regular team captain Chris Gayle said he regretted the situation had got this far but he was adamant a stand needed to be taken against the WICB. "This is the last thing we want to happen. Need respect and stop taking us for granted," he said on Twitter.

WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine said: "We have made every effort since our meeting [with the WICB] in April to have the matters agreed upon honoured, and those that were still to be agreed upon resolved in an amicable way. The players have played the last four tournaments without a contract. They are now being asked to play their fifth consecutive series without a contract, which is unacceptable."

Rugby League

By Andy McSmith