The West Indies tour of Sri Lanka next month was in jeopardy.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
Port of Spain:The West Indies tour of Sri Lanka next month was in jeopardy after only three players returned their contracts to the West Indies Cricket Board by this week's deadline. The board gave contracts to 13 players to sign by Tuesday, but the players appeared to re-ignite a dispute over endorsements that began late last year, and almost ended the tour to Australia in January, and forced a below-strength team to play South Africa in a Test in March. The board planned a teleconference later today, and could determine whether the Sri Lanka tour goes ahead, said a source in the board who spoke on condition of anonymity. The source said the board could use the three signed players plus a West Indies A team already in Sri Lanka to meet obligations. West Indies is scheduled to play two Tests, in Colombo from July 14-18 and in Kandy from July 22-26, and compete in a limited overs tri-series with Sri Lanka and India. The source refused to say which three players signed, but they appeared to include Brian Lara. On Tuesday, board spokesman Leonard Robertson said Lara was granted his request to miss the one-day games in Sri Lanka, so he could extend his Test career. On Sunday, the board invited 13 players to sign by Tuesday, saying it acted after talks with the West Indies Players' Association "broke down." (AP)