Better salaries likely after WI first-class shake-up

Players on the West Indies first-class circuit could receive higher monthly salaries, in addition to match fees as a consequence of the reorganization of the region’s domestic cricket structure. The amount will be matched to the player’s seniority and ranges from $1500 to $2000, according to reports from Trinidad & Tobago’s Guardian. If the players make it to the XI, he earns an extra $1500.

The West Indies Cricket Board had recently adopted a franchise system by which the six participating first-class teams could select players from all over the region, as the Pybus Report recommended. Each side can retain 10 local players and can complete their quota of 15 by recruiting players from other countries in the region. There is also provision to have international players in their squads. The WICB are yet to make a formal announcement but the Trinidad & Tobago’s Guardian quoted the T&T Cricket Board chief executive officer Suruj Ragoonath talking about the their proposed approach to the changes.

Ragoonath said they have decided to retain 15 players for one year, but those already contracted with the WICB, like Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, will still be available to play for the region despite not signing with the regional team.

“These players who are retained by the WICB will get match fees based on their retainer condition with the WICB,” Ragoonath told T&T Guardian. “The others will be paid a monthly salary by the TTCB for one year in the first instance. They will also get match fees in accordance with their retainers.”

With their remuneration, players’ responsibilities will also subsequently grow and will include a quota of training, participating in off-field activities for the benefit of the team and the society at large.

“They will have to make a certain amount of hours in training and will be required to do mentorship, coaching and other civic duties. They will be available to promote sport and a healthy lifestyle as well, for example they can join in the march for breast cancer and Aids that is kept at the Queen’s Park Savannah.”

The implications of a contract would mean players might have to choose between holding onto their day jobs and playing cricket.

“These guys would have to weigh their options and if they decide against taking a retainer to keep their regular jobs, they would be offered what is called a pay for play contract,” Ragoonath said. “They will be required to get time-off from their employers to train and play matches and will get just match fees, when they represent the country.

“If the players take up their retainers then they don’t have to worry about getting time off to train and play matches, because they will be full time cricketers.”

The first-class tournament starts in November and will last 10 rounds, two sets of home and away matches, which means each of the six teams – Combined Campuses and Colleges was cut from the draw – will have a bigger workload.

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