West Indies cricketers representing the region in all three formats of the game stand to lose over US$52,000 (TT$330,000) in compensation for the ongoing India series, which represents a startling 64 percent drop in earnings.
Even more eye-raising is the fact that this loss in earnings was agreed to by the cricketers’ union, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), which is headed by former West Indies and Jamaica batsman Wavell Hinds.
In WIPA Annual General Meeting 2014 Minutes in Trinidad on Saturday 1 February 2014, which was leaked to Wired868, WIPA director Michael Hall urged the players to be “agents of change” by giving up daily sponsorship fees.
However, the players’ union did not reveal what their new earnings would be and failed to meet a directive from West Indies’ One Day International (ODI) captain, Dwayne Bravo, that any financial shortfall from the loss of their sponsorship money should be compensated via other revenue streams.
In a letter from the West Indies team, which was signed by Bravo, the players complained about a 75 percent loss in revenue. This only slightly overstated their deficit.
A player representing the West Indies in all formats of the game, according to WIPA documents, would have earned US$83,000 (TT$526,000) from match fees and sponsorship money for the current India series, which comprises of five ODIs, three Tests and one T20 match.
Instead, that player will take home US$30,475 (TT$193,000), which represents a loss of just over US$52,000.
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and Hinds have said this recouped money will go towards the professionalization through the payment of staff and monthly contracts to 60 players in six territories.
The complete figures suggest that Hinds was being economical with the truth when he revealed the increase in the players’ match fees without showing the loss in sponsorship revenues.
Hinds focused on the fact that match fees rose from US$5,000 (TT$31,600) to US$5,750 (TT$36,300) for Tests. But he did not say the sponsorship money they lost was worth US$13,460 (TT$85,000) for each five day Test match.
Already cricket sources suggest that the financial loss could make Test cricket unviable to players who earn millions in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and might think it irresponsible to risk their health for such a significantly smaller sum.
During WIPA’s last AGM, veteran cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul noted that West Indies was already on the low end of the scale in Test salaries. His assertion, according to the minutes, went unchallenged by WIPA directors.
Hinds claimed the minutes showed that the players give up their sponsorship fees by a “majority vote of the members present on the floor.”
However, Wired868 can confirm that the AGM’s minutes show that no resolution was taken.
Last week, Hinds was contradictory in his defence of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
In his letter to the players, which was published on Wired868, Hinds claimed that Bravo expressed “100% support for this initiative.” However, in the next paragraph, he conceded that this support was conditional: “The minutes also reflect the only qualification to your support, which was to ask that the current WIPA executive make every effort to ensure that the shortfall in revenue accruing from the reallocation, be made up in other areas of player remuneration.”
And Hinds went on to concede that WIPA did not meet Bravo’s conditions: “While I am willing to concede that best practices may not have been observed by not sharing the document with any but a small group of our members…”
Bravo’s response to WIPA’s suggestion that the players concede their sponsorship fees was recorded in the minutes as:
“Mr. Dwayne Bravo then stated the he support 100% the proposal but certain conditions must be discussed, one of them being no pay drop for the senior team and that the other being salary be raised to compensate the loss of the sponsorship fee.
“He agreed that first class players need the raise and the retainer; he made the point that it was long overdue. He said he hoped the first class (cricketers) understood what WIPA was trying to do and that all players stand together as one. He wanted WIPA to speak to the board on the issue of relocation for the WICB retained players and the pay grade structure being raised.”
The West Indies’ players are arguing that WIPA did not have a mandate to sign the CBA/MOU on their behalf and are asking the WICB to revert to their old agreement until a new one can be negotiated in good faith.
At present, Cameron’s body will pay a total of US$395,900 ($TT2.5 million) to the cricketers for the India series. Under the old agreement, the WICB would have paid US$683,581 (TT$4.3 million) more or a total of US$1,079,481 (TT$6.8 million).
Thus far, the regional cricket board has not responded to the players’ request or suggested it willingness to concede the additional US$683,581 to the players.
Hinds denied an accusation from the West Indies cricketers that conflicts of interest between WIPA directors and the WICB led to their inadequate representation of the players.
West Indies players versus West Indies Players Association in numbers
US$5,750 (TT$36,300) = What cricketers will earn per Test under WIPA’s new agreement;
US$18,460 (TT$116,600) = What WI cricketers earned per Test under the old WIPA agreement;
US$683,581 (TT$4.3 million) = What the WICB will take from its players for this series; and what the cricketers want to recover.
Editor’s Note: The figure the West Indies players will be paid for this series was modified to reflect five ODIs rather than four as initially stated.
I suggested that this tour to India should have been cancelled because of the BCCI umpires’ decision to ban Sunil Narine from bowling and cause him to lose vital earnings for his trade. Now the legitimate question of the earnings of the players has taken centre-stage and the tour is cancelled mid-stream. The WICBC has shown its inability to preside over West Indies Cricket and has brought the game into odium and disrepute and caused huge embarrassment to the region.. This was an ill-fated tour and should have been cancelled on the Sunil Narine matter. Justice has eventually prevailed. The integrity of West Indies future tours will be in doubt and it has dealt a severe blow to the concept of one West Indies team.. T&T,Guyana, Grenada and Barbados should now form a South Cariibean team and apply to ICC for membership leavinf the small island to sort out their Caricomesse..
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Hinds is an idiot and he must be getting something in his pocket. This cud mark the end of the WI Team because who could blame them if they only play internationally!
Lol. Touche Pouchet. I wonder how the WICB salaries compare to salaries at regional level like even the staff that will be set up in the six territories.
I’m not trying to be contrary Gerard. But if executive salary cuts were so invigorating then maybe more companies would be doing it and you wouldn’t need to look so far for examples.
I’m not saying that there should be no salary reform eh. But the evidence at hand suggest these cuts were forced through without the consent of the WICB’s most valuable employees.
And I find that odd. But when those cuts were forced through by the union, I find it bizarre.
I’m assuming WIPA has one man-one vote, which might give Wavell Hinds a very good chance politically. But if the salaries are so disproportionate then WIPA probably gets most of its dues from the 30 senior and A’ team cricketers.
So WIPA’s stance seems contrary to the capitalist spirit too.
I’m sure there is still missing information on all sides.
But either Wavell Hinds is a great reformist in the mould of Martin Luther in renaissance times. Or something is amiss.
So why the executive of the wicb dont lead by example and take a pay cut?
We are all commenting with little or no accurate information. The concept of 10% of players taking 90% of payments is not right. But having said that,going to the other extreme, as seems to be suggested by the chosen ones, is also not the correct thing to do. I am not fully aware of the present scenario, but would simply say that some soundly thought out middle ground would appear to be the solution.
Why did I foolishly think these days were behind us?
“The advantages of executive pay reform outweigh the disadvantages. To begin with, the salary cuts will primarily affect senior managers who typically earn about 30 times the wage of the average employee. Narrowing this salary gap is crucial to maintaining social justice. Executive pay reform is also good news for middle managers, who might welcome a salary system based on performance.”
I thought the business mindset, in all capitalist societies including ours, was you pay based on revenue-earning potential. You try to stimulate continuity but not at the expense of alienating your most valuable employees.
I think pay structures in most companies from Apple to KFC would suggest the same.
I can’t say whether that is morally right. But I don’t know any top company that would suggest massive pay cuts for its star employees to make the lower rung staff happier.
Good point, Larry Romany
Lasana I agree that they are the main revenue earners however if you approach it from a business mindset they are a cost center like any other aspect of the business and would only be sustainably effective if the pathway into that level is properly developed. Just think of how many teams the WICB are trying to develop at the same time. How many cost centers at work. There is no business model that would invest the majority of its capital into its main commodity. The argument would always be between the value of the reputation of the players vs that of the WICB. This is why I do not agree with restricting players from playing international 20/20 tournaments. The WICB cannot have it both ways. Either they compensate players for giving up their lucrative 20/20 contracts or they allow them to move freely.
Lasana Liburd, noted