UPDATE 2-Cricket-Windies players to boycott Bangladesh series
* Players to boycott series
* Dispute over contracts and payments
* WICB chief says first test to go ahead
(Updates with WICB reaction)
By Simon Evans
MIAMI, July 7 (Reuters) - West Indies players are to boycott the test series against Bangladesh due to start on Thursday, the Caribbean team's players' union said on Tuesday.
But Julian Hunte, president of the West Indies Cricket Board said the first test in St.Vincent would go ahead, although he refused to be drawn on whether they would select an alternative squad for the game.
The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) said it had attempted to hold talks in the past few days with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to resolve a number of issues.
"The players have requested me as President of WIPA, the players' body, to inform the WICB, sponsors and the public that, regretfully, they cannot with immediate effect continue playing without any contracts with the WICB," WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine said in a statement.
WICB president Hunte, however, told Reuters he still expected the series to go ahead.
"As far as we are concerned (there) will be a test match on Thursday," he said when contacted by telephone.
Hunte declined to comment on whether the WICB was now seeking to recruit an alternative team to replace those on strike.
"Goodness me, we can't play a test match without players. I can't go beyond that," he said, adding that he intended to release a statement about the game on Wednesday.
Media reports in the Caribbean said most players from the West Indies squad had returned to their homes and were not preparing as planned for Thursday's game.
The union, which threatened strike action during England's tour of the Caribbean in March, said the West Indies players have played the last four series without a contract.
In a lengthy statement, the WICB detailed the financial disputes between itself and the WIPA regarding payments for the tour of England in May, the Twenty20 World Cup and the recent four-match ODI series against India in the Caribbean.
All of those competitions were highlighted by WIPA as being at the centre of the dispute.
The WICB said as far as it was concerned negotiations were ongoing to resolve their issues, though the players, who met at the weekend, have clearly lost patience with their employers.
"The decision was taken that if the WICB did not meet with WIPA to resolve outstanding issues, the players would not make themselves available to participate in the upcoming series against Bangladesh," the WIPA statement said.
"We have written to the WICB to meet on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th July, but unfortunately the WICB have not responded."
Bangladesh are already in the Caribbean having played a warm-up game in Barbados against a West Indies A team.
(Editing by Ed Osmond and Greg Stutchbury; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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