Windies players on brink of salary strike

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With less than a month to go before the start of the World Twenty20, the West Indies player have demanded to know how much they will be paid for playing in India, with skipper Darren Sammy writing to the board.

Sammy penned a letter to the WICB asking about the allocated funds for the players, and said that the salary negotiated by the West Indies Players' Association is not agreed upon by 14 of the 15 players in the squad.

But the WICB responded to say that Sammy's quoted figure of 8 million dollars was incorrect, and that WIPA indeed did represent all players, whether they had signed with them or not. They added that the players had until 14 February to sign their contracts, and not a day more.

According to Cricinfo, though Sammy did not state it in his letter, the players are prepared to strike if the matter is not resolved. As it stands, the Windies are ranked second in T20s, and their absence at the tournament would be a heavy blow.

Sammy's letter, as quoted on Cricinfo, read: "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 – ie that 25% of income received by the WICB for participating in the tournament was distributed to the squad.

"We do not understand – nor accept – just 1 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 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 $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.

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

"Darren Sammy"

Michael Muirhead, WICB CEO, responded: "We are not sure where you obtained this information, but assure you it is totally incorrect.

"As a result of the ICC revamp which was agreed on 8 February 2014, the ICC has changed the manner in which distributions to Full Members in relation to ICC events are paid – starting from the ICC WT20 2016. These payments are now spread out and distributed over an eight-year cycle, rather than being paid out in a lump sum and attributed to any one event.

"It is therefore not possible to identify a particular sum which will be paid to the WICB by the ICC in respect of the WT20 2016.

"While it is true that WICB has previously calculated compensation to the ICC event squad members as a percentage of the ICC distribution received in relation to the particular event; because of the reason outlined above, it is not possible to calculate a percentage to be paid to the Squad, as the ICC distribution is no longer being made in the traditional manner.

"The WICB, in recognition of this, and in an effort at fairness and transparency, allocates 25% of WICB revenues estimated over a four-year period – including ICC distributions – to players, through a guaranteed minimum revenue pool, out of which player payments are made.

"Anything in excess of this minimum over the relevant four-year cycle, will be divided solely among the international players, as agreed with WIPA.

"The remuneration to the players for the WT20 comprises an agreed match fee of three times the usual fee, plus 50% of the net proceeds of any sponsorship for the event, and 80% of any prize money earned by the team. Note that for this tournament, the prize money has increased substantially from the previous WT20, moving from a gross total of US$3million to US$5.6million, of which the winner will receive US$1.6million."

He added: "We are unable to move the deadline of 2pm ECT on 14 February 2016 for receipt of the signed player contracts for the WT20 2016."

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