Contract crisis threatens West Indies on eve of World Twenty20
The saga between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and selected players for the upcoming T20 World Cup, set for March 8 in India, continues. Threatening to boycott from the games, the players are asking the board to meet their demands for improved wages.
In a letter to the WICB, Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy said that the selected 15-man squad were unhappy about their contracted compensation for participating in the tournament, which shows a dramatic reduction when compared to previous World Cups. The players are requesting that the wages be increased to match the margins of past tournaments.
“For instance, in the 2012 T20 World Cup the lowest paid player was guaranteed US$57,937. Thehighest was guaranteed US$137,045,” said Sammy in the letter to the board. “To now be offered just US$6,900 per match across the board irrespective of experience is totally unacceptable. Players are being asked to start providing services from nearly four weeks ahead of the World Cup and be guaranteed just US$27,600 if they play all the guaranteed matches (which) is a staggering reduction. We are looking, even on 2012 figures, (at) reductions of between 50-80 percent.”
WICB CEO Michael Muirhead, however, defended the contract, arguing that the “terms on offer were negotiated and agreed between WICB and WIPA with the assistance of representatives from the ICC and FICA during a mediation process last year, and all parties agreed that they were fair and equitable and acceptable to be offered to the members WI team selected for the relevant ICC Event.”
Sammy also rejected that the contract negotiated between the WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), as “WIPA became conflicted during its negotiations with you and compromised itself.”
Muirhead says the players have until this Sunday to accept the terms of the offer. Meanwhile, Sammy has requested an urgent meeting before Sunday’s deadline. Though the West Indies has been struggling in the test match format, they are a frontrunner in Twenty20 cricket, and is currently ranked second in the world.