New Zealand Cricket creates IPL window for players
The creation of a participation window for New Zealand cricketers in the IPL and the establishment of a players' retirement fund are among the salient features of an eight-year agreement between the national board, the players association and the six major domestic associations.
Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief, hailed the "ground-breaking" eight-year term of the deal that he said would provide stability to the country's cricketing structure. "Through the eight years $65 million is guaranteed to fund grassroots cricket and a further $25 million is ring-fenced for NZC reserves. These elements underwrite the future of cricket in this country.
"The long-term approach has allowed all parties to plan with certainty for the future and ensure that investment levels can be maintained into grassroots cricket. This is particularly important considering the significant changes we have seen to the shape of cricket in recent times," Vaughan said.
Heath Mills, executive manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association welcomed the partnership and said the new arrangement would help retain players for national duty. "The negotiating parties have worked hard to create an outcome which is good for cricket, good for players and secures the future of the game - and we believe we have achieved that," he said.
The agreement is arranged around a new financial model, with professional cricket assuming the risk to guarantee the funding to grassroots cricket and support functions, but also being incentivised to grow NZC's financial return.
Key features of the new agreement:
- An eight-year term lasting through August 2018
- All calculations within the new agreement are based on an eight-year commercial revenue forecast for NZC of approximately $360 million
- $152 million will be guaranteed from professional cricket during the term of the new agreement to underpin the game at all levels in New Zealand, including:
- $65 million of guaranteed funding to grassroots cricket (From 2002- 2010, approximately $40-45 million was invested in grassroots cricket)
- The ring-fencing of $25 million to NZC reserves from the hosting of the 2015 World Cup
- A "risk and reward" model, whereby in return for providing certainly to amateur funding and absorbing any financial shortfall, the professional game then receives a far greater share of any revenues achieved above forecast
- Revenue generated above forecast will be split 65:35 in favour of the player pool for the first $60 million and 50:50 beyond that
- The provision of a player payment pool equating to 27% of NZC revenue in the first four years of the agreement and 28.1% in the second four years
- Contract retainers and match fees at international level remain the same as the last agreement in Year 1 and then increase by 2.5% per annum thereafter
- Contract retainers and match fees at domestic level increase modestly in Year 1 with contract retainers then increasing by 2.5% per annum, and match fees also increase modestly per annum
- The establishment of a retirement fund
- A partnership approach to the management of professional cricket, including the establishment of a Professional Cricket Advisory Board to advise on management of the professional cricket environment (while the parties continue to maintain their existing core decision-making rights and responsibilities)
- A clear participation window for New Zealand players to participate in the annual Indian Premier League if they secure contracts from participating teams
- An increase in the number of players contracted per team by Major Associations from 12 to 15 over the course of the first four years of the agreement
- The introduction of a contract elevation system whereby players who do not have contracts at international or domestic level will be able to earn a contract once they've played a certain number of matches at the respective level