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England players 'substantially underpaid' - PCA

George Dobell

February 16, 2013

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

Matt Prior played fluently for his half-century, England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day, August 5, 2012
Matt Prior has spoken out about England's early season Test schedule conflicting with the IPL © PA Photos

England players are "substantially underpaid" and require far greater compensation for missing out on the riches available in T20 leagues around the world, according to the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), the players' union.

Angus Porter is one of the key men charged with negotiating England's central contracts and he feels there is a chasm to be bridged before the players and the ECB can agree the next deal. The new contracts are due to be issued in October.

England's busy schedule is one key area of concern. With the international team playing cricket almost the whole way around the calendar, the opportunities available to England players to participate in the various domestic T20 leagues springing up around the world are sharply curtailed. As a result, according to Porter, their payment lags far behind their opposite numbers from other countries.

The players are also said to be concerned about the integrity of Test cricket. While the format remains most cherished by all current England players, Porter said they are worried that Tests played in May are compromised by the absence of key members of the opposition at the IPL and serve to devalue the premier form of the game.

"T20 leagues are very much an issue as we look at the next round of central contracts," Porter told ESPNcricinfo. "It would be wrong to focus purely on the IPL; the fact is that England players have very little time to appear in any of the highly profitable T20 leagues or even in the Champions League.

"It is quite wrong to presume that central contracts are adequate compensation. England players are substantially underpaid even before we factor in the lost earnings from potential T20 appearances. They are paid somewhere around half the amount of Australian players and most Australian players also have the opportunity to appear in the IPL and the BBL. We are asking that England players be given a chance to maximise their earnings."

While helping the players to do that is clearly one part of Porter's remit, it is not his only concern. "It is very important to the ECB that the integrity of the early season Tests is maintained," Porter said. "But it isn't necessarily so important to the opposition. The players are concerned that playing games against half-strength teams does long-term damage to the integrity of the format that all of them feel is the most important and prestigious.

"We understand there are complex issues here. We understand why the England schedule is so busy and we don't pretend there are simple answers. We are not thrusting a stake into the ground and saying our position cannot be moved. We just feel that a bit of flexibility is required and that a negotiated settlement is the answer. The players are certainly prepared to compromise and I hope the ECB are, too. The England players need to have a greater say in the schedule."

Talks between the two sides are at an early stage but it is clear that there are significant problems to be solved before the England team depart for the Ashes at the end of October.

As things stand, an uneasy compromise exists between the ECB and its contracted players, allowing them to appear in the IPL for around a month but rendering them far less attractive to franchises due to their partial availability - several went unsold in this year's IPL auction.

The 2013 IPL runs from April 3 to May 26 but the ECB has insisted their players are back in England by May 5, ahead of the New Zealand Test at Lord's, which begins on May 16. The New Zealand team is sure to be weakened by players who have chosen to appear in the IPL instead.

The ECB might have thought it had won the argument after subjugating Kevin Pietersen's attempted rebellion in 2012. Among other disagreements, Pietersen had wanted to play a whole season of IPL but was forced to back down when the England management made it clear that they were not willing to give any more ground. But Matt Prior is the latest England regular to suggest a rethink of England's early season schedule, while Owais Shah is believed to be thinking of becoming the first English cricketer to give up a contract in county cricket to make himself available as a travelling T20 professional. The issue is clearly not going away.

"There is no question that we are going to see cricketers go freelance," Porter said. "It may be Shah and it may be someone else. But you can understand players wanting to maximise their earning ability over the last few years of their career and, perhaps, extending that career by managing their workload. It will happen soon."

The involvement of England's players in the IPL may be academic for a few years, though. Between 2014 and 2016 the dates of the IPL are set to be pushed back a few weeks to accommodate major global events, making it practically impossible for England players to be involved. The World T20 takes place in Bangladesh in April 2014, the World Cup the following year runs until the end of March and the following World T20 takes place in India in April 2016.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

The whole basis of cricket in England needs to be reviewed. If we created our own "English Premier T20 League" based on the Indian/Australian model and played as a coherent tournament in a concentrated Summer period it would be to the good of all. The players would be better rewarded. The confusion of the current Domestic schedules would go. Forward planning could be made. But for this to work obviously a maximum 8 team franchise tournament would be needed - as elsewhere. 8 teams based at the 8 International grounds properly funded with two or three star players from abroad per team. Move on form the nostalgia-ridden, outmoded, unaffordable County based system and design something fit for the 21st Century.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 16, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

@kallis57, whilst the ecb clearly has issues with bcci, they haven't spitefully arranged May tests to stop players joining ipl. Ecb began scheduling May tests in 2001, the ipl didn't start until 2008! The ipl may have helped srl & win teams in t20 terms, but it has also aided the the slump in the srl test side who are now struggling 2 produce players with the right technique 2 play at test level check out their recent performances & results. The wi test side also continues 2 struggle 4 the same reasons. As an eng fan I would like us 2 b successful in all forms, but I'm not 2 bothered if we r not doing well in t20, as long as the test side is playing well that's really all that matters.

Posted by kallis57 on (February 16, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

The real issue for me in all this is the ECB and their spiteful childish attitude to the IPL. They have begun to schedule these ridiculous, weather ruined series against under strength opposition simply to prevent England players appearing in the IPL. This has 2 or 3 outcomes. Test cricket is played in damp conditions in half empty grounds against sub standard opposition. Test cricket is devalued - how could it not be? Spectators get poor value for money and our players are generally annoyed. When a team man like Matt Prior speaks out about it you know there is an issue here. Almost more importantly since the ECB's de-facto boycott of the IPL has set the England T20 team back. We have gone from T20 champions to also rans in 2 years. Where teams like the West Indies and Sri Lanka with their players getting IPL practice have come on leaps and bounds we have gone backwards. The ECB should act in the best interests of the game not engage in petty squabble with other countries.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

There seems to be this myth about T20 domestic competitions. IPL BBL etc.. that there is untold wealth waiting for 100's of cricketers to cash in on. It aint so.There are a handful of itinerant first class T20 cricketers like Gayle,and Shah for instance, who will alwaysl get picked up at any tournament they elect to play in and get the lions share.Add to that the quota of domestic cricketers and it doesn't leave an awful lot of places/money to be picked by the odds and sods.Supply and demand, market forces, call it what you will, but the outcome is the same. If the BBL had been a free for all like the IPL, does Prior think he would have been employed. No way, he can't even make the England T20 team. So a lot of these players, who would never be bought in a free markeet are simply hopping on to the T20 bandwagon as an excuse to demand more money from the ECB. Greed is a word that springs to mind.. especially since their ECB contracts are already reportedly worth £700,000.

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 16, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

@George Dobell :- "the strength of the county game would be diluted by widespread departures (to the IPL)... lol... Counties may lose 1 player per team, but I doubt it - with the IPL finals in late May, most players would be back in Eng having missed a couple of weeks... The Champions League interferes with the Oz season & early Tests, yet we get by without any hysteria...

You are joking about the American, Caribbean, SL & Pak leagues about deserving a window?... Aren't you?... Combined they will never get more than 20% of the popularity of IPL - even throw in the BBL, SA & Eng you wouldn't get to 50%...

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (February 16, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Cricket will go football way in 10 years time. Money rules - If T20 club cricket provides more money , administrators will push for that.

Football is not in bad shape because of clubs. Best football is played in clubs and cricket will go that way - sooner or later .

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

The prestige of test cricket is damaged by the opposition being weakened? Such an excuse for trying not to schedule anything in the IPL window.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 2:46 GMT)

This just makes me sad. Playing IPL would be all good and well for those players that got bought but possibly half the team wouldn't such as Cook, Trott, Compton, Root. They'd therefore miss out on test appearance fees and lose profile and sponsorship money. All of these players are famous because of tests. If a player gets moderately injured, who's doing the rehab? Not the IPL team, they're straight back home. What if a player was also good at baseball or snooker or judo and requested 6 weeks off to go and play in a lucrative tournament in April/May. The ECB would rightly refuse, should be no different here. AFL has a 5 month off season, would they let a player play BBL in the off season, no way. Would a soccer or any other team sport business, likewise.

Posted by bennybow on (February 16, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

No clue about English weather? Last year we had hosepipe bans in summer and floods in winter. Doesn't feel like "pretty much the same" to me. Also, I'm still peeved at the number of days rained off last year meaning I didn't get full value from my expensive county membership.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno spoken like somebody who hasn't a clue about English cricket or weather!. English cricket existed far before the IPL funny enough and starts in April.Has done for over 100 years and the IPL knew this before they started. Weather wise, it rains pretty much the same all year round with spring being no different to mid summer or mid winter. Doesn't seem to affect the number of first class games being played.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

I don't know too much about Angus Porter but he is starting to come acrossa bit like a football agent. Those guys will tell you that a client who earns 150K a week is underpayed. We really need to see what sort of money CC are worth before we can say who is right and who is wrong here. I would also like to know why the likes of Swann, Bell & Anderson did not enter the auction this time round. They have all tried before and been unsuccesful, did they all think they wouldn't get picked up due to their availablity or did they think with such an important year of cricket ahead with the back to back ashes series and home CT they needed 4 weeks rest as oppossed to heading back to Ind to earn a few rupees?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@D-Ascendent, Excellent post, you make some brilliant points.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

@Meety, I'm not convinced it will be such a big issue in 3 or 4 yrs time as I suspect a lot of the other franchised T20 leagues would have come unstuck by then. Providing the IPL continues to remain popular & prosper then I think it is probably the only league that can sustain such a large amount of overseas players & continue to pay the really big salaries. The BPL is the one other league that has tried to go down the IPL route by signing a derth of foriegn stars, but it seems destined for failure as many of the overseas stars are not getting paid. Leagues such as BBL & the SAF T20 have a better chance of succedding if they remain as they are with just a couple of overseas players allowed per franchise. If these leagues continue down that route then there simply won't be room for dozens of freelance t20 globetrotters so will players really be hanging up their international boots 3 or 4 yrs early just to play for 7/8 wks in the IPL each yr?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

@Nutculet, I think in principle your idea to let players play in the IPL at the risk of them loosing their places to younger players is good. However I think there may be a few flaws. If Marquee players are missing it will be more difficult to put bums on seats at grounds particularly at that stage of the season, hence financial losses for the ECB. Sky also probably won't be happy as they are paying good money to the ECB who would in theory at least be allowing their top players to play on a rivial broadcaster(ITV) and this may ultimatley lead to a deal worth less money to the ECB. Add those to to the fact The ECB would be loosing control over some very key players ( something they have been trying desperatly to avoid since the inception of the IPL in 2008) then I think the ECB would have quite a lot to loose from such a decison.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (February 15, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Given that it rains in England well until June (and thereafter!)... not sure why IPL should even consider "adjusting" their calendar to suit ECB? If English players can't make it to IPL.. big deal..who cares when there is so much talent available all over the world.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (February 15, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

@jmcilhinney : " there aren't multiple formats of football (soccer) such that one form can hurt another".. there are and there were, before EPL killed them off. Remember EPL has been running far longer than IPL! Just see how the EPL managers start growling when players (ask) leave for African Cup of Nations... looks like one set of rules for yourselves and another ("Spirit of Cricket") for the others?! Ridiculous.

Posted by emmersonne on (February 15, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

I hope any rise in pay doesn't hit the fans - tickets are already LUDICROUSLY expensive.

Posted by Penkridge on (February 15, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

If domestic cricket is to be seen as a mere stepping stone to international T20 riches, perhaps the counties could be seen as training colleges with the youngsters taking out huge loans to see them through. Or perhaps they could be regarded as apprentices and be paid next to nothing for their work.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

@Jay Sarkar, I don't think Cook was a good example to use. Although he is a great test batsman and a very good one day player, his technique is not honed to scoring runs particularly quickly and for that reason he has never played a T20 international. I would therefore doubt that too many IPL franchises would be that interested in him.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

this is how it started in sri lanka, first salary hike, then they cut down test tours to go to IPL, then SLC went bankrupt by paying high salaries and building stadiums

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

When KP asked for it. Players wanted K.P out. now when they realize they have the potential to earn as well. They are wagging tails at ECB. And whom are they comparing the price with Australians! They are a class apart from time immemorial . English are newbies to international stardom and class cricket. You need wait a bit , English.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 15, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

The PCA has been arguing this for years, it's nothing new. But England's cricketers, whatever they're paid, continue to play great cricket, whether it be Whitewashing Australia last year and dominating for five years over them, or crushing India in India. They are immense players, and should be paid accordingly. There's only so much money to go around of course, as is part of life.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

@Jay Sarkar on (February 15, 2013, 14:25 GMT), that's not really a fair comparison as there aren't multiple formats of football (soccer) such that one form can hurt another and I don't think that any player from any country puts their EPL duties ahead of selection for their own national team.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

@Nutculet, You rasie a good point regarding how competitive the May tests are given that a number of big name players may be missing from the opposition. However the ipl isn't the only issue here there is also the CLT20 which the ICC felt fit to give a window to. This is going to be played from mid Sept every yr which will mean shoe horning our int season from mid Jun to early sep. Therefore if there is to be a compromise I feel it will more likley come from the setting up of an EPL. It's possible to juggle the season around (with little effect on the existing int calender) to have a franchised tournament run by the ECB for about 3 weeks in mid summer which would allow all CC players to feature & gain extra income on top of their CC. Another benefit would be that all CC players would be involved as oppossed to the IPL where I doubt more than a handful would interest the franchises. Of course there will be issues with things like weather but the ECB would maintain control of players.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

I find it really funny and definitely ironical that english fans are against the IPL and the easy money available to players. They may well be the same chaps who take pride in the english premier league being the equivalent of IPL in football. Come on guys, give your players a break or else they'll just take a break from the game. A chap like Owais Shah will probably earn far more than Cook in a couple of years playing far less, spending more time with his family and friends, and being able to enjoy life. Isnt that what we're all after?

Posted by bigdhonifan on (February 15, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

@Barsac yes there a;ways be fresh talent from South Africa or Ireland. Why cant ECB let these old players earn some money???

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (February 15, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

@attilathecricketer I don't understand your comments. It's more complex than about greed. Comparing your salary with those of international cricketers comes down to demand and supply. If enough fans / audience are prepared to pay ridiculous prices for to watch cricket then that money will trickle down to the players. If a player sees an opportunity to maximise their earnings they'll want to take it as would a lot of other people whatever their job. Unfortunately it today's world there are countless examples where reward is not linked to performance such as Indian players who must surely be the highest paid cricketers in the world but are not amongst the best. Take someone like say Jadeja and his $2m IPL contract and compare to say Dale Steyn's $1.2m contract but who would rather have in your team?

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 15, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

2nd post: further thoughts on May for t20 & ODIs in Eng. If the Eng contracted IPL selected players are busy entertaining India in April/ May, it offers a gt deal of scope for the ECB to select some promising untried/second string players, to represent Eng alongside those who didn't get picked up in the IPL auction. Those players (perhaps numbering 3 - 5?) would have a great opportunity to stake their places for consideration when the migrants return, if they've done well in the absence of the first-picks. Those who have gone off can have that written into their contracts; that there will be a pro rata deductions for those t20 & ODI fixtures when you are out of the country. Saved contract money can then be dispersed to pay the players who have been invited to step up. Further, it shd be made clear to Eng IPL players that they risk losing their places if replacements prove to have the necessary qualities to perform at the top level. This might well make some reconsider! Make yr choice!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

@BRUTALANALYST on (February 15, 2013, 11:42 GMT), England players aren't prevented from entering the IPL auction but they are required to be available for the entire English home season. That means that they are not available for the full IPL season and that is always going to be a factor for a franchise choosing players. KP is such a huge talent in T20 that his franchise is prepared to live with that but maybe not for other players. Maybe Prior wouldn't have been bought for 200k anyway but then again maybe he would.

Posted by Barsac on (February 15, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

The ECB should stick to it's policy. If aging players towards the end of their test careers want to try and earn a few dollars playing in the IPL and other circuses so be it. There will always be fresh talent to replace them.

Posted by 200ondebut on (February 15, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

You only need to look at the profits the ECB make on the back of the players to see they must get a greater share in the riches on offer. It is of course the players and not the ECB shirts that the fans come to watch.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 15, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Most people who spend some time hereabouts know where I come from (primacy of TC; t20 for those who're past international consideration; strong suspicion that the BCCI isn't interested in cricket per se, etc.). Now here's the next boil & it needs lancing soon: England cricketers & the issue of contracts v IPL. 'You can't be away from the Eng set-up when there are Tests to be played in Eng!' says the ECB. That's why you're contracted! Time for some realpolitik, methinks. TC in Eng in May was always a barmy idea. A quick Wisden check tells me that as recently as 2000, 1st Test (of 5) v WI at Edgbaston started 15 June. The first May Test was in 2001(17 May vPak).Let's face it: May's a lousy month for TC! Moreover, it's esp. unfair to the tourists who aren't used to Arctic conditions. Get Tests back between June & mid-September when people take holidays! Use May weekends for the format stuff. End-load the season with serious cricket! Why not? Off u go lads, back 28 May & don't get crocked!

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 15, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

then its up to the players to say what they require. sky are putting into english cricket seventy five million pound per year and an saffa insurance group i believe about one hundred million pound. and we must be the most expensive ticket price in world cricket true this has to go round quite a few teams etc . but the top and bottom of it the players of england be it tests the full teams and lions and ladies cricket should all be paid the going right.true the ipl has set a bench mark on payments but boards other than the bcci cannot afford.but not sure what they pay their players but most of it i expect is from the franchise.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

The article doesn't state how much they are paid. As one comment has pointed out it can be upwards of £200k, revise that upwards for dollars and they get pretty well paid compared to most other test match countries. That's before sponsorship which would be linked to playing for England and probably dwarfs their salary. Unless the IPL are going to pay a substantial amount, which I doubt for all but the star players then it's a bit of an IPL generated myth. Possibly one of the England players put the PCA up to this announcement.

Another factor is a far chunk of this money comes from Sky indirectly as host broadcaster. Sky have requirements for for broadcasting a May test and it will cost the ECB to back out of it.Would the IPL pay compensation to the ECB for the lost revenue?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

I hate the IPL! But the fact of the matter is no matter what the fans think the players have a right to maximise their earning when there are opportunities available out there. They have the right to think about the futures of a their families while they are at the top. Most of us would drop our current job in a heart beat if someone offered us a job that pays twice as much when you only have to do 2 days work a week. You've also got to take into account that a player's peak is about 7-10 years as a professional cricketer. Us fans can take the moral high ground too easily.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (February 15, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

@PkZindabaad Prior was in the auction he wasn't forbidden by the board he just went unsold, maybe his 200k base price was to high as wicket keepers aren't really in demand like the super big hitters and all rounders.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

GREED GREED and simply Greed ..whatever happened to playing for your country and getting paid handsomely already !

The central procurement system means ENG cricketers are between £ 250,000 and £ 400,000 a year - about four weeks wages for a top Premier League footballer. Leading cricketers from Australia to get a similar amount, while the South African players earn around £ 105,000 a year. Look On the other side of the coin, players from Pakistan are hired for much less, at around £ 22,500 a year, while Bangladesh players get £ 12,000.

If anyone shoudl be complaining is PAK players who are paid ridiculously low and are permanently palying away from home !

Get on with your job ENG and stop complaining

Posted by canterbury1990 on (February 15, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Totally agree with attilathecricketer! Its really difficult to compare salaries between countries, as there are so many other factors to consider. The cost of living in Australia for example is higher, and income tax is also higher. A better comparison might be how the England players do compared to other professionals in the UK. The ECB doesn't just cater for England players, but it needs to think of the entire England set up. And we have to remember that the ECB generates much of its revenue from tv deals as a result of England playing international cricket, so the more the players play for England the higher the salaries will be. You cannot want higher play and less international cricket at the same time. All in all, i think that centrally contracted England players are quite well off.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

It's great that players choose to represent their country in the purest form of cricket over the lure of T20 £s but it must be a bit galling to see Owais Shah pulling in more coin than far more talented cricketers - essentially because he's not good enough to play for England.

I'm certain there will come a time when the players get to choose if they want to play full IPL season or not. Would make for a 2nd tier test team for the early summer tests but it will have to happen - unless they want to treble the central contract.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

A Paul Rone-Clarke; if you're 100% tht your analysis is the correct one, pray tell us why English players through the PCA is now asking ECB for flexibility so that players can play the IPL.. the truth is English fans dont watch it as there are no English players. After all players are the ones to suffer, not humbugs who sit and pontificate from their arm-chairs. Whether English fans dont like IPL or are just jealous of what it has achieved in a few years that the ECB's 20-20 hasnt managed in over a decade and half is a moot question. Giles Clarke says it should learn marketing strategies from IPL and BBL. Finally, when it comes to ICC rankings, England is no 2 in tests, India 5th, England 2nd in ODI, INdia 1st, England 4th in T20s, India 3rd. Perhaps people need a reality check - unless players are happy, they wont perform no matter how much national pride is thrust down their throats by fans blinded by the foolishness and old world attitudes of the ECB.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (February 15, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

This issue will roll on and on and on. Kevin last year, Prior this year and like last year it will inevitably affect attitude, team spirit and performance.

Posted by Tigg on (February 15, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

The way the counties are starting to go, even if the ECB allow IPL time the home county won't.

The ECB should stick to its guns.

Posted by Ramski1 on (February 15, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

Englands cause is valiant but unfortunately doomed. Money talks and the IPL is where the money is and they know it.

Mark my words, the KP episode was a brief compromise, with KP knowing that the big India series followed by 2 Ashes were worth sticking around for. I am certain he will inform IPL teams he is fully available for the 2014 IPL onwards (hence maximising his market value) and if ECB havnt backed down by then he will go freelance.

The problem is the May test series, it is not a marque event but England players are tied into it as it is Test cricket. Logic would say scrap the series - but this will actually do more harm to test cricket as it is the only time the smaller nations will get to play England. Also im sure ECB are concerned that the IPL want to actually expand the league and recoup the money they are currently spending.

All countrys are slowly losing control of their players to Indias money - sad and the game will be poorer for it. But players will be richer.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

@ Sanjiyan.As recently as 2 and a half years ago England were low down in every ranking. Test, 50 over and T20. They are now challenging in all 3. In what way is English cricket being killed off? The attendances (full for England games) performances (vasty improved ) profitability (high and ever increasing) TV viewership (steady - showing no signs of decline) sponsorship (increasing value wise year on year) What basis are you basing this comment on? There is no factor I can think where you are not 100% WRONG! Compare that with IPL in the UK which is on a tiny minority channel, gets a miniscule audience (often under 100,000) of which almost 75% are Indian ex pats. IPL means almost nothing the UK. It is so small that even cricket lovers don't care that it is on - or watch it. 87,000 watched the last IPL match broadcast in the UK. 75% of those were Indian ex pats. In context, that's half the number that watch "Disco Groove" fitness channel. That's how little people here care about IPL!

Posted by PkZindabaad on (February 15, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

It may be true that ECB may not paying the players like Aus does, but it is definitely more than what PCB pays. When a amateur guy like maxwell earns 1 million for a 1 month to play in India, just imagine the thoughts that goes through Hales, James, Swann , Prior when the board just forbids them to take part. But they must realize that it is the ECB that made them international players and to horn their talents in county matches, otherwise they will be unrecognised ones. So just respect the ECB board and be content with available money like pak players do. Its not just England players but Pak players are also not getting any opportunity to take part in IPL and we are not even complaining.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (February 15, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

I personally think the ECB is stuck in 1970 and refuses to budge on a lot of the current issues. Which in turn is slowly killing off english cricket. No wonder so many counties are in financial trouble. How can they expect to attract an oversees star player when said player can earn 3 times the money in less than half the time? Its high time the ECB wake up to 2013 and start modernising their way of thinking.

Posted by attilathecricketer on (February 15, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Unbelievable greed. The average England player is on £200k a year I believe. They should remember how lucky they are. Some of us are on £20k a year & struggle to afford to pay their match fee for their game on the weekend and can't afford to watch Test cricket because ticket prices are so high and can't afford Sky. Players were underpaid before Packer - they are not now. As for the schedule I think their should be some flexibility - allow greedy players to play in the IPL in May but maintain the Tests so that weaker nations get a chance to play us.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (February 15, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

The English players still make far far far more money than West Indians, Sri Lankan, Pakistani , Kiwi and most likely South African Cricketer's (as they all seem to want to play county cricket/England) at any opportunity other than the top Indian and OZ stars they're pretty set.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 15, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Only one solution for this. Create a separate window for IPL. Not for other leagues bcoz no player will complain if they get a chance to play IPL unlike other minnow leagues

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (February 15, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Yes, Angus Porter is absolutely correct. The ECB pays English test cricketers half as much as Cricket Australia pays Australian cricketers, and still they expect these players to turn down the IPL opportunity? Vast majority of the ECB's huge Sky TV money goes to the useless counties. ECB should stop paying these counties exorbitant amount of money each year, and use that money to pay the test cricketers.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (February 15, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

This article is missing one important element: the numbers. I'd love to know what a someone like, say, Eoin Morgan, makes in a year (contract + perks + endorsements) and then compare it to a similar non-Indian player (Dave Warner, perhaps? Or Faf du Plessis?) who plays in the IPL or other leagues, and also represents their home side regularly. There's no point comparing the numbers to Viraat Kohli because Indian players are in a league of their own.

Also, the phrase "riches available in T20 leagues around the world" is misleading. BPL can't pay its players, and I'm betting the SLPL and the HRV cup won't exactly cover you in the diamonds. So where exactly are these riches, barring the IPL? The Big Bash would rather recruit Scott Styris and Murali rather than players still in the game.

In short, this sounds like a cynical ploy to blackmail the ECB into allowing players an IPL pass. That, or the players' rep is going for maximum wages for his clients and wants to browbeat the ECB.

Posted by nymphsatyr on (February 15, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

If money is that much important (which actually is) then leave your national team and go play as freelance! why make a fuss out of it?

Posted by shwet14 on (February 15, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

T 20 leagues similar to the IPL are springing up. Aus started BBL, Sl the SLPL, BPL is going on and WI announced their own league , a few days back. Lets be practical here. The players' life time is anywhere between 35-40 years. Most of them do not possess any other skill which can earn them enough for the rest of their lives. So it is not a crime to think about one's financial security and maximise the oportunities that come their way. For somone like Owais Shah, who is a good T20 player, has been consistently overlooked by England and has no real hope of making a decent England career, would like to be a travelling T20 specialist and make money. Its not a crime at all. We have already seen guys like Pollard, Luke Wright, Malinga appear in different leagues. Even a champion like Murali is playing the BBL. If they are in demand, can make a decent buck, then why not? Its upto ECB to either pay equivalent to their stars or change their home tests schedule.. IPL is here to stay.

Posted by Meety on (February 15, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

This the catch 22 England have at the moment. On the one hand, the County season running during the same time as the IPL is an advantage as an serious Test talent (barring KP), will want to be playing County cricket. So players are not really disorientated by the IPL, the flip side is, I can see a day where England players do the Owais Shah thing & retire earlier than what they would of in other eras. ATM- it is only Shah, & some other minor County players doing the T20 merry-go-round, but I can see a day when a 35yo Swann may say I have had enuff of gruelling Test cricket & want the low hanging fruit of the BPL, BBL, IPL, SLPL or any other League, even though he COULD play Tests till he is 37/38. I think this will be more of an issue 3 or 4 years into the future when England's current side starts to enter transistion, players like Anderson, KP & Swann (maybe Bell), may look at the money, then will the next crop of talent be as "pro-Test" cricket?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

International cricket really does seem to be at a crossroads. The IPL is the centre of the storm because it's the highest paying domestic T20 league and therefore the one that everyone most wants to play, but the fact that there are so many similar competitions popping up is just as big an issue. If a window is created for the IPL then will most of the best players settle for just playing that and the other leagues have to settle for the rest and is that really fair? If the ECB do let players go then that decreases the ECB's earning potential so English cricket suffers. If the BCCI really care about international cricket then they can't just dig their heals in and say that the IPL is theirs so they can do what they want with it because it doesn't exist in a vacuum and does have consequences. They won't want to reduce their earning potential any more than the ECB will though. Also even if the BCCI play ball, that still leaves all the other T20 leagues. T20 is cricket's poisoned chalice!

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