Contract crisis rocks West Indies ahead of World T20

PTIUpdated:Friday, May 31, 2019, 06:16 PM IST
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Kingston: A contract row threatened West Indies’ participation in the upcoming World T20 in India with the head of the region’s cricket board saying the players will be thrown off the squad for the big-ticket event if they do not agree to the financial terms by Sunday’s deadline.

The West Indies Cricket Board made its stand clear after an upset 15-man squad rejected the contract offered by WICB. Speaking to a Jamaican radio channel ‘Hitz 92fm’, WICB chief executive Michael 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.”

Earlier, captain of the West Indies T20 team, Darren Sammy has written 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.

“We want to represent the West Indies but the financials on offer we can’t accept,” Sammy wrote. “Obviously I am not privy to exact numbers paid to the WICB from the ICC, but I understand USD 8m will be paid to the Board. Traditionally 25% has been paid to the squad. That would equate to USD 2m/15 therefore approximately USD 133,000 per player.

“Worse case scenario the squad would earn USD 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%. A staggering difference, a near 80% 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.”

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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