England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 17, 2013

Cook talks pride over money

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John 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?

  • Michael 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.

  • Vivek 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.

  • Ram 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?

  • Rayner 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.

  • j 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.

  • Ski 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

  • Vikram 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.

  • John 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?