Overseas players 'taking a lot of money' January 18, 2006

Gough calls for county salary caps

Cricinfo staff

Darren Gough has called for the imposition of a salary cap on overseas players in county cricket.

There has been considerable debate over the amount of money paid to overseas professionals, and this has grown more intense in the aftermath of the ECB's exclusive TV deal with BSkyB, with some people claiming that the extra money the counties will receive will be spent on higher salaries rather than development of the game's infrastructure.

"They always say they are coming over to improve their cricket, but then word gets around that they are taking a lot of money," Gough told the BBC. "They should be here for the good of the game and I think there should be set salaries for overseas players."

Asked if that would deter players, Gough said he didn't believe it would. "Would they sit at home and get no money or come over to England? They'd come over here, of course."

The reaction of the counties to the ideas was mixed, with Jim Cumbes, Lancashire's CEO, arguing that an overall cap on each county's salary bill would be preferable. "Say, for argument's sake, you had a salary cap of £1 million. You could then decide whether to spread that over 22 players or 16 or whatever," he told the BBC. "It's something that we as a Test match ground would support because there are always accusations that we get a lot more money than other counties."

Middlesex's chief executive Vinny Codrington agreed with Cumbes. "Middlesex would be in favour of a salary cap on players full stop," he said. "And perhaps there should only be one overseas player on balance. The ECB are reviewing the salary cap situation and Middlesex would be in favour of having them."