West Indies on brink as they face a £40m claim after pulling out of tour of India

Dispute over player payments led to decision to quit tour

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The Independent Online

The future of West Indies cricket looks even more uncertain following reports yesterday that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) is likely to claim damages of at least £40m after the Caribbean team pulled out of their tour to India at the end of last week.

The West Indies board (WICB) would not have that sort of money, and failure to pay it – should the BCCI press ahead with the claim – could lead to West Indies being prevented from playing games in the future, including next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Cricket Australia’s chairman, Wally Edwards, has said: “The situation that has unfolded is deeply concerning for a game that needs strong cooperation for its survival.”

The BCCI’s working committee will decide whether to go ahead with the claim against the WICB at a meeting on Tuesday in Hyderabad. The WICB is also scheduled to hold an emergency board meeting on that day.

The West Indies team, who were scheduled to play five ODIs, a Twenty20 and three Tests in India, pulled out after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala because the players, unhappy over a change to their pay structure, were threatening to strike. Though Sri Lanka agreed to step in and play five ODIs against India next month, the BCCI will still lose income for 12 match days for the 2014-15 season.

“We have referred the matter to our legal cell and asked them to let us know by the 21st about how we can pursue the issue legally,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told ESPNcricinfo. “They [WICB] entered into a bilateral agreement with us and they abandoned the tour due to their internal issues, so we will have to seek compensation. But, depending on the legal advice, the working committee will decide the future course of action.”

West Indies rely heavily on Indian television money, so will also be hit financially if India go through with their threat to boycott their next scheduled tour of the West Indies in 2016.

Patel said: “They have to demonstrate the willingness that such situations never happen again. I would say that India’s next tour of West Indies is highly unlikely to go ahead in the current situation.”