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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 21:22 GMT
West Indies sponsor rejects plans
C Gayle
Chris Gayle is one of the outcast group of seven West Indians
West Indies cricket's leading sponsor rejected recommendations for a solution to the dispute that has resulted in seven players being barred from Tests.

The seven, including Brian Lara, have personal deals with Cable & Wireless - rivals to main sponsor Digicel.

Digicel said proposals by the Caribbean Prime Minister's cricket sub-committee would not protect its 11m investment.

Earlier, Grenada PM Keith Mitchell laid out a six-point plan so that team and personal sponsorships could coexist.

Cable & Wireless have contracts with captain Lara, vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith and Ravi Rampaul.

The West Indies Cricket Board declared the players ineligible for selection for upcoming home series against South Africa and Pakistan, and reignited the four-month-old dispute.

"This (the rejection of the proposals) was conveyed to the committee last Monday, as this will only allow continued ambush marketing by Cable & Wireless of the title sponsorship rights that Digicel has in its contract with the WICB," the statement from Digicel said.

Mitchell's six-point plan was based on a number of concessions.

It was concerned with the detail of how many players should appear on photos for team advertisements, and what clothes they should wear.

It also forbade Cable & Wireless to make any reference to the West Indies team in its advertisements.

Cable & Wireless agreed with some of the proposals.

"We believe that to deprive the fans of West Indies cricket from seeing a team including the best players available was a short-sighted act," the company said in a statement.

"And to deprive those players of the ability to earn their living as punishment for signing totally legal and acceptable personal endorsement contracts was completely unacceptable."




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