Lara escapes disciplinary action

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The Independent Online
IT TOOK them hours of discussion but the West Indies cricket authorities finally decided they had no need to take disciplinary action against Brian Lara for pulling out of the World Series Cup tournament in Australia.

In the end, they fell back on a variation of the typical let-out in such tricky matters, the loophole in the contract. And it is some loophole - there was no contract, although they presumably knew that in the first place.

Andrew Sealey, executive secretary of the West Indies Board of Control, said in a statement after a meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados that dragged on late on Friday: "As no contractural arrangements were in force between Lara and the WIBC for the tour, there was no breach of contract, and subsequently no disciplinary action is relevant."

The WIBC also decided it was up to Lara to say when he wanted to return to the international game.

The Caribbean news agency CANA quoted the WIBC president, Peter Short, as saying the board had decided the controversy surrounding Lara's withdrawal from the touring team to Australia was now over. "From our point of view it certainly is," Short said. "I am sure it is the wish of the board and all West Indians that he will be available for the World Cup."

The West Indies are touring Australia and are due to play in the World Cup beginning in February in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.