BRIDGETOWN: Two international cricket boards have brought on board new payment models that has not gone down too well with their players.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) was the first to bring it on board in 2014 and it led to the player boycotting a tour of India. As a result Caricom called for the entire CWI to be disbanded. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to slap a US$41M bill on CWI. Today, both boards have come to an agreement using cricket to settle the bill.
Now the Ashes is under threat as Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to ‘spread the wealth’ so to speak. Currently 230 Australian cricketers have no employment as a result of no contracts being signed, leading to the first player strike in Australian cricket history.
CWI director Conde Riley had explained that this idea was not a sole one by CWI, as it came from discussions with all the full members during a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC). According to the Barbadian :”This model helps build the cricket because funds are spread across, instead of just going to some of the players. This was not an idea that CWI came up with alone. This
came after discussion with a number of the full members.”
The fact that CA is now going in this direction backs up Riley’s point and more and more cricket boards may now look to adopt this approach.
The bitter pay war has become uglier as it’s dragged on and has serious consequences for Australian cricket, including the alarming possibility of this summer’s Ashes series being canned.
or two decades Australian players have been paid according to a shared revenue model. That is, a fixed percentage of revenue generated by CA (26 per cent as of the most recent MOU) has been distributed to the top cricketers — that’s international and domestic players — rather than them receiving a set annual salary.
If CA makes less money in 2017 than it did in 2016, it pays the players less that year. If CA makes more money in 2017 than it did in
2016, it pays the players more. Effectively, the players’ income is dependent on how successful cricket is in Australia.
CA wants to break up the revenue sharing model because it doesn’t believe it gives the governing body adequate opportunity to grow the game. Much of CA’s rhetoric about abandoning the current scheme has revolved around wanting to invest more in cricket at a grassroots level so it doesn’t get left behind by other codes like AFL.
Instead it wants to offer the top players fixed salaries for the year so more money can be spent on the bottom end of the pyramid.