England in New Zealand 2012-13

Cook talks pride over money

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 17, 2013

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook talks to the media ahead of the first ODI, Hamilton, February 16, 2013
'You have a very short career and you have every right to try and earn as much money as possible' © Getty Images
Related Links

England captain Alastair Cook has tried to dampen concerns that the players are heading for a contracts dispute with the ECB, over an increase in payments for the leading cricketers, in compensation for not being able to play in various Twenty20 leagues, notably the IPL.

Angus Porter, the chief executive of the PCA, told ESPNcricinfo last week that he believes England's players are "substantially underpaid", particularly in comparison to the Australians, because they are not able to fully exploit the earning potential of Twenty20. Although the current central contracts allow players to join the IPL for a month, that does not make them very attractive to the franchises - the league extends over two months.

From the current squads, only Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright (the latter not on a central contract) have IPL deals for the 2013 edition. Matt Prior was in the recent auction for US$200,000 but did not attract any bids and then hinted at a growing frustration among players at the situation.

Coupled with that, Nottinghamshire have become the first county to outright ban players from the IPL which has impacted Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel.

In a year where England contest two Ashes series and the Champions Trophy any wrangling over money would prove disruptive and, speaking before the start of the one-day series in New Zealand, Cook was eager to reiterate the pride of playing for your country.

"Playing for England is such a huge honour it should always remain that," he told reporters in New Zealand. "You have a very short career and you have every right to try and earn as much money as possible because it's a professional sport. But the crux of the matter is how lucky we are and how much pride there should be in wearing the three lions.

"Clearly, with policies and rotation, people are missing games. We have to look at that for longevity but we should remember how lucky we are. We're very lucky to be doing what we're doing."

However, there was tacit acknowledgement that issues will be raised when the contract negotiations start shortly, though Cook said that was not unusual.

"Of course when contracts come up for discussion, for renewal, there will always be the issue of availability and money.

"This is not really the time for me to talk about it ... there will be another time to sit around the table with everyone and speak about it there. I haven't spoken to Angus about what he said. It is important we focus on trying to win a one-day series in New Zealand."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 18, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

I think many don't realise the logistics of it all.

Yes IPL pays big money but my guess is that ECB doesn't pay bad money either and of all our players - rightly or wrongly - KP would be the only player who is seen as a marquee name and command the big bucks and even then he chose England over playing a full IPL. The main point is that , if you were an ECB contracted player would you turn down a stable ECB contract for a chance to put your name forward for an IPL auction where if picked you might earn more money but bearing in mind that guys like Swann and Jimmy have gone unsold and Morgan was benched the whole of IPL 2012 , I'd say that's a bif IF re being picked and a huge gamble. As in life , I wonder how many folk would quit a comfortable job for a better paid job without having the guarantee of even getting the better paid job?

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (February 18, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

One day I will wake up and realise these t20 tournaments were just a nightmare and cricket has not descended into a total farce. Naff is about the word to describe them.

Posted by CRIC_FAN94 on (February 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

Well,everyone is talking about the IPL and blaming it for the degrading of quality in cricket,why dont you all blame your own T20 leagues held in your country?,IPL is helping the players to settle financially and you all still blame it.

BCCI is not begging ECB to send their players to IPL,it is the wish of the UK players to participate in the tournament.

I respect cook on his comments but i dont think he will utter same words if he would have been a T20 specialist.

Posted by RBVN on (February 18, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

Just look at it practically.Your career span is very short. You spent all your life so far trying to make the most out of this short career span. You'll have to spend the rest of your life after 35 on something you are not really good at or skillful at. Remember not every one ends up with a cricketing career as a commentator or coach . So you should be given the opportunity to earn as much as possible in your short span. You have been given one. Why not go for it?

Posted by Selassie-I on (February 18, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Alastair Cook - Legend.

Completley correct. Have some pride in the shirt, stop moaning about money, you all earn enough, stop whining like footballers, or we'll all hate you like we do footballers. Let the money go to grass roots instead of hoarding it all for yourself.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 18, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

More mature comments from an outstanding leader and great batsman. 'Mr 766' has been wreaking havoc on all spectrums of the cricketing world in the last few years, as the Australians and Indians in particular know all too well. Carry on Captain Cook.

Posted by skilebow on (February 18, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Its in the interest of the head of the `PCA to say that cricketers aren't paid enough. Its his job to say such things. However, I'd hope the the pride of playing for England plus the half a million odd pounds they make a year before you factor in sponsorship should keep a few of them loyal for a while

Posted by xylo on (February 18, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Cook can talk about pride all that he wants, but realistically speaking, a sportsman has very limited time in which he has to build his/her kitty, and when they have to miss out on lucrative smash-leagues such as the IPL, the frustration is surely going to show sooner rather than later. I don't think England can play a similar league at home to get their players what they want, for the English audience seem to enjoy tests more. But, if their players are going to be heading to the IPL, their test performance is definitely bound to suffer, agonizing fans at home. This is truly a tough situation.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

@Amrit Dedyal - Maybe ECB can't match others salaries and maybe it IS also about pride of playing for your country as much as the money as Cook himself says. The only contaracted player as far as I'm aware who had any issues was KP and even he has chosen to play for England above playing a full IPL. Why would ECB risk pushing the financial boat out too far when none of it's players are threatening not to sign etc? The only ECB contracted player who will get regular games in IPL is KP - Even Morgan warmed the bench the whole time last season. A player has the choice of whether to resign the contract or not. Now bearing in mind that our most consistent shorter formats performer in recent years (aka Swann) didn't even get picked up for a base price of $200k and Morgan didn't even get a game in last years IPL , Why would any of our players risk turning down a SECURE ECB central contract not knowing whether or not a fickle IPL franchise would pick them up?

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

The reason that "England's players are substantially underpaid", particularly in comparison to the Australians", is because they individually do not possess the aura of the Australians, West Indians, Indians ECT. They live under a different governing body that is a throwback to …. we are their betters and they need to be told what to do. In truth England players are no better than their cricketing counterparts elsewhere and more importantly they do not drive the imagination of the Indian fans who are the ones who end up buying the IPL product.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

@BRUTALANALYST. While now the answer is that IPL would not look at these guys, in 36 months they would. The issue with IPL is that availability for the second half of it is much preferred to availability for the first part.The reason being that the "business end" games and playoffs, semi's/finals etc take place in the second part. I think until Oz start to play some decent real Australian talent and not 11 european players of 3rd or 4th generation, well, let's put it this way, India to destroy them very easily in the ongoing tour... across all formats. Not one natural Ozzie in the team since Dizzy retired. Shocking that Oz import 100% of their talent. SHould be banned. Too many counties for English IPL to work. No-one would put allegience to "city" sides. "Brmingham" would just be Warwickshire supporters and as such would get almost zero support from watchers from Leicester/Worcester etc. London might just work. 2 teams, one "Surrey" and one "Middlesex" but that's it.

Posted by Barsac on (February 17, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Put it into perspective. Come early July there's only 1 show in town. IPL is a bit of harmless fun that the Indians continue to lap up although it looks like T20 is declining in popularity everywhere else. If some of our ageing players want to cash in and there are people silly enough to fork out the dollars good look to them. Plenty of great young talent to take their place.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

Oh and re Angus Porter, the chief executive of the PCA, told ESPNcricinfo last week that he believes England's players are "substantially underpaid", particularly in comparison to the Australians, because they are not able to fully exploit the earning potential of Twenty20

I seem to remember Clarke , Hussey and maybe one or 2 others joining IPL after the WI (I think it was) test series last year , so aren't they in the same boat as the English contracted players?

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

I really like Prior as a person but TBH , I wonder if he was kidding himself in thinking along the lines that no one came in for him because he could only commit to half of it? The truth is that no one wanted to come in for Matt because for whatever reason , no one thought he was suitable. KP and Morgan are both centrally contracted players and were both picked up. This year I'm not sure if there were any centrally contracted players (besides Prior) who went unsold in the auction. I know last year Jimmy and Swann both went unsold.

TBH - and I've said this before - In the main IPL franchises will go for marquee names above players who are actually decent at the format and are more likely to spend big bucks on a batsman (either a marquee name or someone with a rep for hitting a long ball) than a bowler who can dry up the runs. Have no sympathy with Prior , but maybe a little more with Hales and Lumb - even if I fully back Notts' stance

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (February 17, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke No IPL side would want Root Bairstow or Taylor no way Butler and Finn yes Hales probably but it's not like any English player is going to get bought

Posted by Jaissy on (February 17, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

well apart from some reputated test player like cook,there are players who dont have such profile and would like to earn extra money in 15-20 year carrier(talking about players like hales,bairstow,patel,etc.. who have done well in limited over cricket)by plaing in ipl and other leagues.so ECB should atleast let them play without any objection.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Well here is what the ECB should do:

1) Take the top earning players who represent their country like Australia and match their wages. 2) If the ECB want to stop players fulfilling their contracts for games such as the IPL then the ECB should pay the difference in wages lost. So Kevin Pietersen earns 1.55 million dollars, say he only gets 800,000 due to availability, then the ECB should pay the 750,000 dollars he would have gotten. 3) If the players cannot play in their own domestic leagues or the Big Bash because they have to be rested then again the ECB should pay them what they would have got.

Basically the ECB should cover loss of sponsorship money, IPL money, 20/20 league money, national contract money that does not match Australia, etc

If the ECB can do that then there should be no issues, but the ECB will not do that because they are cheap skates who only ever want to burn their players out playing year round and make no exceptions.

Posted by YS_USA on (February 17, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

Imsrk, Other leagues dont pay nearly as much as the IPL. While in IPL, the top salary is $2.4 million, the top salary in SLPL is $37,000. salaries are terribly low even in BBL.

Posted by YS_USA on (February 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

England has TV market and scale of economy to start their own IPL style tournament. That way, a lot of British players would be making a lot of money and they do not have to send anybody to IPL.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 17, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Y everybody is talking abt IPL. Ther r other leagues also like SLPl BPL BBL. Someone remind these players

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

England with SOOO many world beating stars coming through, all of whom will likely eclipse the current first choice XI very soon. A 6 week IPL with availability for 6 weeks would seem best. As it is now IPL drags on so a shortening of the competition added to a couple of extra weeks availability of players would seem good. Hales, Buttler, Root, Taylor, Bairstow, Finn and others, all in their very early 20's - will be playing for England regularly within 36 months across all formats, let's make it a decent proposition for them. They seem a lot better even now than Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Prior and Broad. We don't want to lose this awesome resource of world beating players to some Indian domestic cricket competition of a pitifully low standard (imports excluded) that attracts well under 100,000 viewers on a minority TV channel here in the UK...on a good day. While some of these new Aussie trundlers who have been hyped, get to cash in. These new aussie bowlers really look poor.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

You're talking at the most 15 years career with few exceptions. I dont understand why it is such a big deal when someone is looking out for their financial security and asking more money. I don't blame Prior for showing some frustration. He has probably 4-5 years left. I wonder Cook would say the same thing if he is also known for his T20 exploits.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 17, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

Put money on the backburner this year lads. Englands priority in 2013/14 is to enflict back to back to back to back Ashes series defeats upon the hapless aussies. England should just look upon this year as a chance to boost their batting & bowling averages.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 17, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

the Prior comments earlier in the week made me think he was using like for like, for example Australians were getting more money. were what he was complaining about was the package some were getting. with his central contract + his Sussex contract i would say he gets paid very well. if the ipl franchise want to buy the likes of dan christian then we are never going to match wages because the ipl contracts does not take ability, equals size of contract. the problem most in players iworld cricket would think that average cricketers are been given contracts purely because they are available for the whole ipl season. i am not saying all the aussies been selected do not warrant the monies they get paid in fact i think 3 out of the top 4 of the team they select for the 1st indian test are only are T20 class

Posted by palla.avinash on (February 17, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

well cook doesn't play t20 for his country and all the leagues are in t20 so he can say i don't play leagues,but can alex hales say keeping the pride no way,cook is just saying i cant play leagues so any one don't play and don't earn.. .if is great t20 player can he say those words and money is as important as pride they need maintain balance and ecb needs to understand it and bcci needs to decrease ipl matches and money to keep players hungry for country.

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 17, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

Cook really is the only shining light for England. There is absolutely no stars coming through around him so I certainly hope he doesn't care about the cash.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 17, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Good sense from the England captain. Whilst understanding Prior's frustration over being unable to offer himself for the entire length of the IPL (with the major proviso that he would, in the event, have been picked up in the aucton) he, along with other centrally contracted players, should see the bigger picture: he is an elite cricketer & paid as such, with the prospect that he, unlike almost everyone else within UK, is likely to have a significantly increased salary from October onwards. It's an enviable position to find oneself in! In a few years, his reputation as a world-class w/k- batsman intact & enhanced, he will still be able to cash in on his reputation & his figures wherever he chooses. He'll have no need of a contract with Sussex & perhaps he feels that his obligation to his county has been met. That's a matter for the parties concerned, but I've always liked the idea of ex-international players 'coming home' at the end of their careers. Those days may have gone, however.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (February 17, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Cook has shown admirable commitment to his country. But assuming this applies to all the others and that this issue will magically disappear is wishful thinking.

Posted by bobbo2 on (February 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

A shame. The IPL is rubbish but you can't blame the players for wanting the money.

Posted by Hardy1 on (February 17, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

It's inevitable really, England are one of the best teams in the world & the IPL is the best T20 league in the world so to have only 3 English players in the whole of the IPL is not something that's gonna last long (Pakistan is, unfortunately, a different case & hopefully that'll get sorted soon too). I can understand Prior in particular expressing his frustration since his T20 record is right up there, even guys like Cook who you wouldn't suspect of being your typical T20 player have done well in the past.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 17, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Well, as the captain of England, he can talk about pride all he wants. But I bet pride can't pay his bills at the end of the day. He needs some dough and that can only be gotten through lucrative T20 deals such as the IPL/Big Bash League and hefty pay bonuses from his country's own board, the ECB. So money is all that matters, pride matters but it doesn't solve financial problems or satisfy hunger.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
Tour Results
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Mar 22-26, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Wellington - Mar 14-18, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Dunedin - Mar 6-10, 2013
Match drawn
NZ XI v England XI at Queenstown - Feb 27-Mar 2, 2013
NZ XI won by 3 wickets
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Feb 23, 2013
England won by 5 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days