West Indies rocked by contract crisis

The WICB made its stand clear after an upset 15-man squad rejected the contract offered by WICB and chief Muirhead was in no mood to back off from the board’s stand.

Captain Darren Sammy wrote a letter to the WICB, stating that the players do not accept the provided financial terms of the contratc.   -  S. Subramanium

West Indies’ participation in the upcoming ICC World T20 in India has been threatened by a contract row with the team and head of the region’s cricket board at loggerheads. West Indies Cricket Board head, Michael Muirhead in a radio interview expressed that if the players do not agree to the financial terms by Sunday, they will be thrown off the squad for the World T20.

The WICB made its stand clear after an upset 15-man squad rejected the contract offered by WICB and chief Muirhead was in no mood to back off from the board’s stand.

“The WICB is committed to play in the tournament, let me say that first,” Muirhead said. “No one will leave the shores of the West Indies without signing a contract and if these players in particular choose not to sign, then I guess we’ll be left with no option but to substitute other players for them.”

Captain of the West Indies T20 side, Darren Sammy, wrote to the board stating the players “can’t accept” what was on offer as they perceived there were “huge financial reductions” in the terms compared to previous global tournaments.

Sammy’s letter to the board:

“To all concerned at WICB

I am sending this as captain of the West Indies T20 side and as a collective representative of the 15 man squad selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

We have collectively discussed the remuneration on offer to participate in the T20 World Cup. Considering that 14 out of the 15-man squad are not part of WIPA — and hence have not given authorisation to WIPA to negotiate on our behalf — and a large number do not receive any significant remuneration from WICB at all, we want the opportunity to negotiate fairly the financial terms within the contract.

The 2015 World Cup took place with the WI squad remunerated under the terms and conditions that had been in place for the World Cups previous — i.e. that 25 percent of income received by the WICB for participating in the tournament was distributed to the squad.

We do not understand — nor accept — just one year later being offered contracts to participate in a major ICC World Cup that show such huge financial reductions.

We want to represent the West Indies but the financials on offer we can’t accept.

Obviously I am not privy to exact numbers paid to the WICB from the ICC, but I understand US$8M will be paid to the Board.

Traditionally 25 percent has been paid to the squad. That would equate to US$2M/15 therefore approximately US$133 000 per player.

Worse case scenario the squad would earn $414 000 collectively under the terms of the contract offered by WICB to participate in the T20 World Cup 2016. That is just over 5 percent. A staggering difference, a near 80 percent reduction.

We want to propose we participate in the T20 World Cup 2016 under the same terms we have represented the West Indies in previous tournaments.

Please, can you address this urgently? The T20 World Cup is just a matter of weeks away.

Darren Sammy.”

Although West Indies cricket is struggling in the Test format, it remains a major force in the shortest form of the game. West Indies won the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and are currently ranked second in the world.

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