Cricket West Indies has introduced a new system of different contracts for Test and limited-overs international players, effective from July 1. The system will have three categories: all-format contracts, red-ball contracts, and white-ball contracts.
Only five players - Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Devendra Bishoo - have been contracted for all formats, while six have been given red-ball contracts and five others white-ball contracts.
The new measures come in the wake of an increasing number of players opting out of the national team in favour of T20 tournaments. Most recently, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Darren Bravo opted to skip the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe to play the Pakistan Super League.
"The new retainer contracts aim to incentivise our players to play cricket for the WINDIES and be contracted to CWI," Johnny Grave, the chief executive officer of CWI, said. "All the new contracts offer increased remuneration to our WINDIES men's team as well as enhanced medical and insurance policies. All future contracts for all of our professional cricketers will start on the same date, July 1, which will become the start of our cricketing year."
Under the new arrangement, a maximum of 11 all-format contracts can be awarded. For red-ball and white-ball contracts, the aggregate can go up to 11, and the total number of contracts is capped at 18.
Four new development contracts can also be offered to players in the red-ball and white-ball categories. These contracts cater to those players yet to establish themselves in the XI but who are likely to be selected in the year ahead.
The process of selecting players was completed last July, ahead of the issue of domestic contracts to the 90 regional professional cricketers on August 1. While the national men's team is officially on contract till September 2018, the new retainers will be issued to both national and regional players on July 1, to ensure all professional cricketers start their new contracts on the same date.