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Cricket bailout

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is rallying support to help the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) settle a US$42 million bill with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Vincentian leader made the disclosure after WICB president Dave Cameroon appealed for assistance from Caricom countries to satisfy the claim.

BCCI suspended bilateral tours to the Caribbean and initiated the multimillion-dollar claim for damages after the one-day team quit the tour of India last month over a contracts row with their union, the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA).

“I have been talking to several persons at home and abroad to respond to the plea by the president of the cricket board to see who we can help them with the US$42 million claim that the India cricketing authorities have made against our team,” Gonsalves said.

“I will help in whatever way I can because of the importance of cricket to our civilization - our Caribbean civilizati­on,” he said. It appears that a meeting in Trinidad recently, brokered by Prime Minister Gonsalves and his Grenadian counterpart Dr. Keith Mitchell, with WIPA, has reached a solution.

The meeting agreed to set up a three-man task force to look at the BCCI lawsuit.

“I fully expect that the team for South Africa will be selected without any discrimination, without any victimization against the India 16, both for the Tests and ODIs, which will come in January,” Gonsalves said.

West Indies are to play a tough three-Test series against South Africa starting next month.

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