Sunday, March 13, 2005
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) issued a statement that essentially ensures Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle will not play in the series against South Africa. On March 4, the WICB named 22 players to prepare for the tour. The Board excluded Lara, Sarwan, Gayle and four others. The WICB gave their reason as the players' failure to provide their individual contracts with Cable and Wireless for review by the Board. An ongoing conflict exists between the Board's contract with Digicel and the players' individual contracts with Cable and Wireless. Subsequent talks chaired by Grenada's Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, failed to reach a resolution despite earlier signs of success. The Board in a statement released, March 12, 2005, stated it will proceed as planned, without the named players. However, the Board appeared to leave the door open by stating it will examine the individual contracts 'until it satisfies itself as to the nature of those contracts'. No comment was made as to what will happen after review of the contracts. South Africa arrives in Guyana on March 25th. The First Test begins on March 31st.