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'FICA to recommend SLPL boycott without bank guarantee'

Andrew Fernando

September 6, 2012

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Jacob Oram celebrates a wicket with his team-mates, Uva v Nagenahira, SLPL, final, Colombo, August 31, 2012
The Uva Next franchise only paid its players their overdue salaries after being threatened with player withdrawal © Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS/SLPL
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Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) has said it will deter players from taking part in the 2013 Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) unless tournament organisers honour the bank guarantees clause in player contracts. FICA CEO Tim May said his organisation had made repeated requests for proof of the bank guarantees, but SLC and their promotions partner Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV) had failed to provide it.

"I can categorically state that if the bank guarantees are not sighted by the relevant date for next year's tournament, we will be recommending players not to travel to Sri Lanka until the guarantees are sighted by FICA and agreed to be in a form suitable for its purpose," May said.

The contracts stipulate that each SLPL franchise must provide bank guarantees for the total amount of players' salaries. If the franchise fails to meet the payment schedule, players can then activate the guarantees after a seven-day period in order to receive their pay. Players were due to receive 25% of their salary upon arrival in Sri Lanka, a further 25% on the day of their franchise's first game, and the remaining 50% on the day of the team's final SLPL match.

"Non-production of these bank guarantees is a major breach of the player contract," May said. "The bank guarantees were instrumental in obtaining many players' signatures to participate in this event."

SEV CEO Sandiip Bhammer says franchises were unable to acquire bank guarantees because the process of getting guarantees for each individual franchise would have taken too long and was too complicated. He said tournament organisers had instead asked franchises to acquire a pay order for the total amount of player salaries and they had in turn shown proof of these pay orders to FICA.

"I don't understand what FICA's problem is," Bhammer said. "FICA only come in if there is a problem with player payments, but in this case, they have all been paid in full."

"A pay order is in fact a stronger guarantee of player payment than a bank guarantee, because it means that a certain amount of money is blocked off and becomes accessible to players if there has been a breach of payment."

May said that the SLPL players had been paid "largely on time" but that several players from one franchise were yet to receive 50% of their pay, though as the local players of that franchise had been paid in full, the money may still be on its way into the foreign players' accounts. He also said that Uva Next, who had delayed the second installment of payment to players, only paid their dues after being threatened with player withdrawal.

Bhammer said he was certain that all players who participated in the SLPL had been paid in full.

"When Uva Next were late to pay their players, Tim May insisted that the franchise pay the players 100% of their salary while the tournament was still going, which wasn't something that was in their contracts. We ensured that the Uva team forked out more money than they were contractually obligated to do, so they actually ended up paying 75% of salaries before the tournament ended."

Bhammer said he was not concerned by FICA's threat to deter players from travelling to the SLPL in future.

"The best adjudicators here are the players themselves. Several of them have come out in the media and said they enjoyed the tournament and would be glad to play in it again. You don't really need a better endorsement than that."

The SLPL did not use a player auction to determine player salaries, but instead contracted players for a pre-determined sum before players were assigned to a franchise via a draft. The three-week tournament ended on August 31.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

haha...I don't understand why some people are saying BPL was a total disaster or something because although I admit it wasn't 100% perfect, the matches were all good with no interruptions i.e. weather and has greatly helped Bangladesh Cricket as a whole unlike IPL. This was the inaugural BPL and even the management said it was rushed and are willing to correct everything for BPL 2. Also the BPL wasn't advertised throughout the country and that's why there were lack of crowds at the beginning of the tournament but when that tournament progressed, the stadiums got packed. About the payment issues of BPL, most of the players did get paid but its true the BPL organisers should've been professional about it which is why they're going to correct all these problems now. Cricket in IPL, BPL and SLPL are no different from eachother when it comes to matches and the only reason IPL is ahead of any of these leagues is number 1, India has far too many investors and 2, India's huge fan base :)

Posted by Third_Gear on (September 9, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

SMALI_RWP @ Firstly IPL is also a copy version of premiere League Cricket Secondly, who cares Tim May ??

Posted by Sakthiivel on (September 9, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Still I like Tim may. He is doing good job.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

Many of the Indian IPL franchises are also not economically viable, in the long run. Smarter ones should en-cash their franchises when the going is good and get out. The IPL franchisees may live a little longer, since many of the owners have deeper pockets (from their other established business interests) and can cross-subsidize! Their expected longer life is also because of the significantly larger amount of Ad revenue. However, Ad revenue can drastically fall, if and when viewer fatigue from too many such tournaments. It is a simple economic paradigm: supply exceeding the demand. Even outside cricket, many newly emerging industries rolled over, when too many entrepreneurs jumped on to the band wagon. It was leasing industry in one era, and dot-com companies followed suit. T-20 franchises may be the next! ( I am not writing this as a long-standing cricket fan, but as a retired Management Professor from one of the better IIMs). Sorry, folks.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

How can they give bank guarantee, when they don't have enough money, even to pay the salaries of the nationally contracted players, regularly and in time. Even many of the teams and most of the advertisers are Indians. Simple rule in any project management; You can expect ROI ( Return On Investment) only if there is money for "I" ( Investment) !

Posted by chamil111 on (September 7, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

i think this league system is going to kill cricket soon. If icc arrange a common league like 'champions league' that all players can play without country wise. Then no need to give priority to ipl,bpl,slpl or any other league than own national team. It is far better than current league system.

Posted by haseeb on (September 7, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

SLPL & BPL should merge and have a combined T20 league with 5 teams from each country and playing Equal number of matches in both countries .. in that way quality of cricket will be more and its going to make it exciting ..coz there is no point on having so many leagues with same players playing for every franchise in every league ..

Posted by SMALI_RWP on (September 7, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

It is not surprising that both SLPL and BPL are facing difficulty. What one must understand is trying to copy or replicate IPL won't be easy reason is simple IPL is backed by large corporate firms for advertising their product to a relatively large and affluent fan base. Hence its no surprise that IPL became a successful venture. Hats off to the Indian businessmen for exploring this venture which has brought lots of money to both the franchise owners and the cricketers.For BPL and SLPL and PCB to be successful I think they should consult IPL consultants and run thru their(IPL) business model to see if T20 could become successful venture. Failing to do would create confusion, failure and put the great game of cricket in bad light. This is not to discourage T20 in other countries but I'm just being pragmatic. I've no problem with Big Bash and ECB's T20 cause they both have the right ingridients to host it. Well done Dal Miah and BCCP to give cricketers another options to earn.

Posted by FadeToBlack on (September 7, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Can't understand what FICA's problem is as all players have been paid with only one late payment by Uva and that payment has also been fully completed.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

I think things will improve with time to come and in 2013.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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