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Gayle, WICB to deal with ‘residual matters’

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Estranged West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is set to return to play for the regional side as early as the England tour, set for this May.{{more}}

However, there are still some “residual matters” to be dealt with, including a pending lawsuit with the West Indies Cricket Board.

A release from Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the Prime Ministerial Caricom Sub-Committee on Cricket (PMCSCC), and made public April 4, revealed the outcome of a meeting held here at the Young Island Resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines, March 18.

There has been an agreement in principle, and in going forward, the release acknowledged, “Both sides admit that their respective shortcomings contributed to the debilitating impasse and its prolonged nature, and resolved to bring it to an end, in a spirit of reconciliation and in recognition of the fact that West Indian cricket takes our regional community beyond the boundary for our people’s upliftment and ennoblement. They agree that there are lessons to be learnt from this episode by all concerned, which ought to redound to the benefit of West Indies cricket”.

However, there is another twist, as Gayle, in a letter to Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves on April 1, contended that the pending lawsuit involving him and the WICB, was initiated by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and “I could not possibly contemplate withdrawing unilaterally from proceedings which affect the West Indies players as a whole”.

The lawsuit was brought about by WIPA in August 2011, and Gayle became an additional claimant in December 2011.

The lawsuit revolves around players without retained contracts not being issued unconditional No-Objection Certificates (NOC) to play in overseas domestic leagues mainly T/20 competitions.

Gonsalves, who is being referred to as the “good faith facilitator”, as he played a vital role in bringing closure to the matter, confirmed on a SportsMax television last week Thursday that a meeting with Gayle and the WICB will be held sometime after.

Gayle returns from India .

Gayle is set to return May 29, according to Gonsalves.

Gonsalves also disclosed that the PMCSCC will meet with the WICB, WIPA and others on April 30 to discuss “governance issues”.

Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board had been at variance over comments he made on Klass Radio in Jamaica in April 2011.

Gayle then lambasted the WICB for its handling of several matters, including medical issues and Coach Otis Gibson’s comments about senior players’ non -performance in the World Cup.

The WICB had asked Gayle to retract his comments, which the left handed batsman had refused to do.

Several efforts were made by the WICB and Gayle to bring an end to the dispute, but to no avail.

As the standoff wore on, it got the attention of the PMCSCC, which decided to mediate in the matter at the Heads of Government Conference of CARICOM held in Suriname last month.

Gayle, as part of the reconciliation process, stated that he would forgo his contractual arrangement with his English County side, Somerset, which would be at no cost to the regional Cricket board.

He is presently in India participating in the lucrative Indian Premier League, where he is representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

West Indies tours England from May 5 to June 24, and will play three Tests, three One-Day Internationals and a single Twenty20. (RT)

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