Windies strike over

West Indies cricketers returned to work on Tuesday under an agreement that saw former Commonwealth Secretary General Sir Shridath Ramphal appointed mediator in their bitter pay dispute.

One day after Bangladesh players completed a two-Test series sweep of the West Indies for their first overseas series triumph, West Indies players agreed to resume representing the region.

Players have been fighting the West Indies Cricket Board over pay but returned after the appointment of Ramphal at a meeting convened by Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, at the request of the West Indies Players Association.

Jagdeo is the current chairman of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom).

‘It was agreed that, in light of the mediation agreement the parties expect to lead to the resolution of outstanding issues, all the players will make themselves available for selection,’ they said in a joint statement.

The two sides have also agreed to each nominate a facilitator to assist Ramphal in his work.

‘The mediation team, with assistance from the Caricom secretariat, would begin work immediately,’ the statement read.

‘Both parties have taken this step, mindful of the interest of their respective organisations but conscious also of their wider responsibility to the people of the West Indies and the international sport of cricket.”

The memorandum of understanding was signed by WIPA President Dinanath Ramnarine and WICB President Dr. Julian Hunte in the presence of the Guyanese leader.

The latest dispute erupted two weeks ago, when 13 of the leading players made themselves unavailable for the first test against Bangladesh in St. Vincent, citing pay and contract issues.

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