Hooper And Lara In Tour Dispute
BRIAN LARA, the captain, and Carl Hooper, the vice-captain, have refused to accompany West Indies on their first official tour of South Africa because they are unhappy about payments to players, according to the West Indies Cricket Board. A WICB statement said Lara and Hooper had not travelled as planned to South Africa from Bangladesh, where West Indies lost the Wills International Cup final to South Africa on Sunday. "They've voiced concern over the fees for the tour of South Africa and have instead gone to England," a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Pat Rousseau, the WICB president, was quoted as saying the board had reached agreement with the players' representative body, the West Indies Players' Association, on tour fees. However, Roland Holder, the WIPA secretary, disputed the board's assertion that fees had been agreed. He said the two sides were still negotiating.
Holder said he understood that neither Hooper nor Lara, who together with the spinner Jimmy Adams have been in London, planned to pull out of the tour and the association had sought permission for them to attend an emergency meeting of the WICB today. "A full statement will be made by the president following that meeting," the WICB said.
In the meantime, the remainder of the team flew to South Africa, where they begin their build-up to the five-Test series with a one-day match against an Oppenheimer XI next Tuesday.
West Indies won their only previous Test at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval six years ago after South Africa had been readmitted to international cricket.