Trinidad & Tobago selector Rangy Nanan has suggested that allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard turned down their national contracts because they believe they'll have opportunities to play in different leagues, but thinks there won't be too many others following in their footsteps.
"If you are under contract by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) they could prevent you from playing in other tournaments because they are paying your salary," Nanan told Newsday. "If you do not have a contract you will not be paid if you are not selected, and would make [the] player available to play in other leagues."
The WICB had offered contracts to 25 players on August 31. While 23 of those players expressed their willingness to sign the one-year retainers, Bravo and Pollard were reported to have turned them down. The WICB offers players three different grades of contracts - Grade A, B and C - and according to Nanan, only two players were given Grade A contracts.
"From what I heard only Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were given Grade A contracts. I am not sure how true that is, but if that is the case maybe they [Bravo and Pollard] believed they could earn more money playing in different leagues. "
Pollard and Bravo most recently turned out for the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League Twenty20. Pollard also played for South Australia and Somerset, while Bravo played for Victoria and Essex. All these teams reached at least the semi-finals of their respective Twenty20 tournaments, in part due to the performances of the two players.
The pair has been named in Trinidad & Tobago's squad for the upcoming domestic limited-overs tournament and Nanan believes Bravo, who has played 37 Tests for the West Indies, would opt to play Test cricket if he were selected. The 23-year-old Pollard, on the other hand, has yet to make his Test debut, and turned down a place on the one-day leg of the West Indies A-team tour to England in June in favour of his deal with Somerset for the Friends Provident t20.
Pollard's desire to play Test cricket has been questioned in the past, but former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop is confident that the 23-year-old Pollard has the skills to make a big impact in the longest version of the game.
"As far as whether he has aspirations to play the longer form of the game he says he has and I have to take him at his word on that," Bishop told Cricket365. "Does he have what it takes skill wise to play the longer form? I think so, yes."
Nanan, who played one Test for the West Indies, does not believe the duo will start a trend of players refusing to sign national contracts, as not all players enjoy the demand they have. At the same time, he said cricketers should be more focused on representing their national side than on how much money they can make.
"We need to get back the pride of playing for the West Indies because it is the only thing that keeps the people in the West Indies together," he said. "If the West Indies lose the people in the Caribbean hurt."