New Zealand players still waiting for CLT20 prize money
The New Zealand Players' Association chief, Heath Mills, has hit out at the organisers of the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 for not having paid the share of prize money due to the New Zealand franchise that participated in the tournament. While the Central Districts players, who failed to win a match during the tournament, received their participation fee, they have not yet received the prize money owed to them eight months after the tournament ended.
The amount owed is understood to be around $200,000 and the payment has apparently been held up due to red tape associated with making significant foreign currency payments out of India. However, Mills said there was no excuse for what had become "a disgraceful situation". He also warned that players would be reluctant to take part in future tournaments - including this year's, scheduled for October - if the pay issue wasn't addressed immediately.
"It's not acceptable when people complete a job and honour all their obligations under a contract to the person they are working for, yet they aren't compensated for completing that work," Mills told the Sunday Star-Times. "That wouldn't be accepted in any other workplace environment. Players now don't have a lot of faith or confidence in the boards running this event given their treatment of players so I expect there will be quite a few questions before guys want to commit to something this year."
Having won last season's HRV Cup, Auckland are eligible to play the Champions League, though with the tournament potentially adding a qualifier, it is not certain whether they will make it to the main event.
Mills cast aspersion on the excuse about government regulations blocking payments. "We hear a lot of excuses around government processes in India and the like but that doesn't seem to impact on similar payments from other events like the recent World Cup where all payments were made on time," he said. "I would be interested to see if the same delays have been encountered by the three boards who own the event when they distribute their profits to each other."
The last Champions League Twenty20 was played in South Africa and was run as a joint venture between the national cricket boards of Australia, South Africa and India. The South African franchises did in fact also experience a delay in receiving their prize money, and in January the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations' (FICA) chief Tim May had criticised the boards organising the tournament for paying the players on time. The South African players have been paid since, but the New Zealand players are still waiting.
May said FICA would advise players not to participate in the tournament in future without some assurances regarding remuneration.
New Zealand Cricket boss Justin Vaughan said payments out of India were often delayed but conceded the wait had been too long. "We've seen this in the past with sponsorship payments so it's not unexpected in a way," Vaughan said. "That said, it is dragging on too long and it's very hard to argue when the distribution of funds is being held up by a government process."