World T20 2016 February 10, 2016

WI players given four days to accept terms


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Disaffected players have received an ultimatum from the West Indies board

The prospect of West Indies sending a second-string team to the World T20 has increased after the sides failed to reach agreement in their contract impasse.

WICB CEO Michael Muirhead responded to the players' request for a doubling of their remuneration package in the tournament by reiterating the view that the compensation package was agreed with the players' union, WIPA, last year and would not be changed on the eve of the event.

Muirhead also stated that any player who had not confirmed their acceptance of the current contracts by February 14 would be presumed to have refused selection.

With only days to go before that deadline, it is becoming hard to see how agreement can be reached. The breakdown in the relationship between international players and their union would appear to have robbed the parties even of the mechanism for meaningful dialogue and there seems little time for Caricom leaders to intervene.

The possibility that West Indies will send a second string squad unable to reflect their No. 2 position in the T20 rankings and, as a consequence, tarnish the tournament, is real and growing.

Darren Sammy, the captain of the West Indies World T20 team, had earlier written a second letter to the WICB repeating the view that his squad "don't accept that WIPA can represent us" and insisting on an increase in the financial terms on offer for their availability in the tournament. His first letter complained of a cut of up to 80% in the remuneration on offer to West Indies players at this event compared to previous global tournaments.

"WIPA became conflicted during its negotiations with you and compromised itself," Sammy said. "It could not and did not actively represent the best interests of all West Indies cricketers.

"The difference between the remuneration on offer from previous World Cups to this one is shocking and we cannot accept the terms on offer.

"To now be offered just US$6,900 per match across the board irrespective of experience is totally unacceptable. Players are being asked to start providing services from nearly four weeks ahead of the World Cup and be guaranteed just US$27,600 if they play all the guaranteed matches [which] is a staggering reduction. We are looking, even on 2012 figures, [at] reductions of between 50-80%.

"We suggest that 100% of prize money needs to be paid to the players as per previous tournaments. Twenty percent should not be retained by the WICB.

Michael Murihead has named a February 14 deadline to accept terms © WICB Media/Brooks LaTouche Photography Ltd

"We also suggest that the match fees be doubled from US$6,900. In summary, we cannot accept the terms on offer. The players are not happy and understandably so with such big differences."

But Muirhead insisted that the players take up their issues with their player association directly with WIPA and gave no indication he was about to reopen negotiations over remuneration.

"The terms on offer were negotiated and agreed between WICB and WIPA with the assistance of representatives from the ICC and FICA during a mediation process last year," Muirhead stated. "And all parties agreed that they were fair and equitable and acceptable to be offered to the members [of the] WI team selected for the relevant ICC Event.

"As mentioned in my previous email to you, this information was shared with all players following that process in May last year. Players were given an opportunity to discuss the new structure and no concerns were raised at that time.

"It is disappointing that you would choose to question the terms now, on the eve of the WT20 in India."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SammySoSo on February 12, 2016, 3:02 GMT

    In defence of the WI players I will say that the amount offered is a pittance by today's standards. Since the game generates so much revenue these days , there is no reason to cut their salaries in such a drastic fashion. Let's not forget one simple fact my friends. Professional athletes have a very short working life and they need to make enough to last them a lifetime. If the likes of Gayle, Bravo, Russel are such huge draws give them their dues. You are tarnishing the great brand that once was - 'the great WI team". No other board has this kind of a conflict except the WI Board. Surely they must be doing something wrong.

  • Cricinfouser on February 12, 2016, 1:33 GMT

    Sammy is trying to play smart with his limited education, vocabulary ,common and cricket sense. He waited until the 11 th hour to pull this one. Bravo pulled out of the tour of India with his team. W. I. C. B should have seen this coming and should go ahead and send the second team if just to avoid another pull out halfway. Also if they are disgruntled how can they perform well. Fire them all to maintain dignity and integrity of wi team

  • justsamcourt on February 11, 2016, 15:58 GMT

    Mr. Sammy said that 14 of 15 players are not members of WIPA, yet WIPA is thebarganing unit! So am i to assume the the current squad are mercenaries! Where is the Pride to play for country! I am happy these guys are not olympic atheletes, i suggest replacing them and allow these guys to play the various leagues for top dollar.

  • BRUTALANALYST on February 11, 2016, 13:48 GMT

    It's looking like it will be a second string the selectors have already met to pick the new side. Despite the terms,given what domestic players are paid they will not hesitate to accept even with the stars striking, remember this is how Sammy and even Holder to some extent became WI captains now the cycle continues.

  • chand_chowbay on February 11, 2016, 13:39 GMT

    Good job Mr murihead, stand strong, no one is bigger than cricket.. There's lots of young talent around, send another squad...

  • Cricinfouser on February 11, 2016, 13:38 GMT

    Why is it that where ever Denis O'Brien goes - all out destruction and chaos soon follows ?

  • Cricinfouser on February 11, 2016, 13:29 GMT

    They will not be missed in the slightest. (and that includes both players and board - excluding Carlos that is :) )

  • Mightymike on February 11, 2016, 13:17 GMT

    As a WI supporter, all we can say is "Here we go again". We are truly sick and tired of this mercenary greed that has developed among our so called "senior " players. The salary packages have been decided for some time but as usual our mercenaries wait until just before the tournament to announce their ransom. I had previously respected Sammy but he has now descended to the level of Bravo, Pollard et al. If they don't want to play then fire the whole lot and use other players. Further, we should ban them from the CPL and be done with them once and for all. Playing for your country should be an Honor which gives exposure to go make millions in the private leagues. I do hope the WICB will PROPERLY CONTRACT all the upcoming younger players so we don't keep breeding generations of mercenaries !!!

  • martel56 on February 11, 2016, 12:59 GMT

    The players have every right to behave this way considering that the WICB had no reason to include the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Chirs Gayle in the side and maybe a couple of others. They feel they are above West Indies cricket and don't have WI cricket at heart. WI cricket for them is opportunistic. They have used WI criket to get fame and then dump manure on the region. Imagine an Australian, India, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Englishman taking up contracts as the first priority over their national teams. These guys are grossly ungrateful. And to think that for most of them their performances are mediocre. Chanderpaul might not have the charisma like a Gayle but look at his record/stats. Gayle is a vooper in every sense. And moreover his attitude is just bad all around. I am upset that Darren Sammy would allow himself to be drawn into this matter. I agree that in the end the WICB did not treat him fairly vis a vis captaincy etc. But these other gus didn't care aboyut Sammy when he was try

  • Valour Luke on February 11, 2016, 12:02 GMT

    While the U19 team is performing well in the world cup the senior team and their board are at war. The performance of our upcoming stars clearly shows what you can achieve when you're able to play cricket without politics and internal dispute

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