Over a third of all players have experienced either late or non-payment problems in a host of domestic T20 leagues across the world, according to the latest annual players' report. The Men's Global Employment Report 2020, put together by the global players' body, Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), found that 34% of all players had experienced payment troubles.
The body identified six leagues where players have recently experienced pay issues:
- Global T20 Canada
- Bangladesh Premier League
- Abu Dhabi T10
- Qatar T10
- Euro T20 Slam
- Masters Champions League
The BPL is the only wholly Full Member-run league in that list, but the others - including the GLT20 Canada, the Abu Dhabi T10 and the Euro T20 Slam, which is partly organised by Full Member Cricket Ireland - have attracted big-name players from across the globe.
Protests at the GLT20 last year led to players refusing to take the field in one game. And the Euro T20 Slam, run by the same organising group behind the Canada League, was ultimately called off two weeks before it was due to start because of financial problems.
FICA urged the ICC towards greater involvement in the matter, given that it ultimately sanctions these leagues - a recognition that helps these leagues to attract cricketers.
"Systematic contract breaches and non-payment of players are issues that urgently need addressing," Tom Moffat, FICA's CEO, said. "The ICC has an obligation to protect people working within its regulatory frameworks and it's time something was done about this issue.
"We continue to urge decision-makers to work with FICA at global level, and players' associations at domestic level, to develop joint solutions to issues highlighted in these reports."
Because a number of members, including India and Pakistan, don't have player associations FICA said it believed the true figure of players who have faced problems with payment is "much higher".
"This is completely unacceptable and there are clear solutions to this issue," the report stated.
Much of the gaze of the annual report - FICA's second - is centred around the squeeze in the game's calendar. The ongoing fallout from the co-existence of domestic T20 leagues alongside international cricket has been a continuing focus for FICA.
FICA said the global structure of international cricket is a "mess", calling the World Test Championship (WTC) "a sticking plaster solution," which will not solve basic inequities in the game. "There is significant inconsistency across countries, formats and schedules," the report said. "Whilst the challenges associated with developing a clear and coherent global structure are understood, the mess of international cricket is confusing for fans and chaotic for players and player pathways."
Despite the issues with payments, a survey of 277 current men's internationals found that 53% would still consider becoming freelance cricketers and reject a national central contract if better domestic league contracts were on offer.