Bravo says players are well informed by WIPA chief

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Dwayne Bravo has rejected suggestions that West Indies players are unaware of all the issues in their dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.

The West Indies all-rounder disclosed that the players are all well-informed by players’ chief Dinanath Ramnarine about all the issue in their disputes with the WICB.

“(He) lets us know everything that is taking place so we are fully aware of everything that is going on in the meetings,” he said in a wide-ranging interview appearing on the website, caribbeancricket.com.

“We are fully aware of what the WICB owes us. We know everything. We are never short of information.”

He added: “Whenever issues come up, the first person Ramnarine contacts is Chris (Gayle); Chris calls a meeting, and lets the players know what is going on and we the players come up as a team, and make a decision on what we would like Ramnarine to go forward with.”

Bravo also dismissed claims that the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) is only looking out for the benefit of the international players, and not for all the first-class players in the region.

“That doesn’t have any truth in it at all!” he said. “Whenever we meet as a team and whenever Ramnarine comes and talks with us, our main issue is about the first-class players.

“He keeps stressing on the first-class players, not too much on us, because we have it better off than the first-class players. Ramnarine is the only one who got first-class fees raised after so many years.

“A first-class player may represent his country for 10 or 15 years, and to play a regional game you get US$120 and a four-day game you get US$250 or something like that. I think in this day and age, it just doesn’t make any sense.

He noted: “We the West Indies players, the Test players, take it upon ourselves to try and make sure that the first-class players get a better salary.

“Ramnarine is very, very clear about it. He is very supportive of the first-class players. He even tries to go more out for the first-class players to make sure they get a better income.”

Bravo asserted that the players were not greedy, but wondered what was wrong with the players wanting a better deal.

He observed that modern-day society was filled with many people looking to earn better pay, as well as terms and conditions.

He asked: “So why does a bank manager go to work every day? Why does a teacher go to work everyday? Why she doesn’t just go and teach and doesn’t study about money?”

Bravo said: “It’s not only we complaining about money. You see teachers protest for salaries; you see people protest because of shortage of salary.

“But we have to understand and accept that the way how life is going, and the way how cricket is going now, it is more a business.

“It is still a sport, but there is a lot of business, there is a lot of money floating around. Players see opportunity where they could make other income. I don’t see any problem with it.”

Bravo had token praise for the WICB during his eight months away from the game, following an ankle operation.

He felt hurt to know that the way he plays and represents West Indies that more was not done to assist him during the period he was sidelined.

“I must say they looked after me in terms of putting things in place for my surgery to be done,” he said.

“But having said that, I have been eight months out of cricket and within that time, I haven’t received anything from the WICB.

“Maybe, if they had the retainer in place or whatever, things might have been different. But it is just upsetting. It is not only me. A lot of players also go through the same thing. But it is very hard and I think it is something that the WICB needs to look at.”