The following letters, allegedly sent by West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and from WICB CEO Michael Muirhead to Sammy, were shared with Wired868 by I95.5 FM sport journalist, Andre Baptiste:
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, which is 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 one 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 US$8m will be paid to the Board.
Traditionally 25% has been paid to the squad. That would equate to US$2m / 15 therefore approximately US$133,000 per player.
Worse case scenario the squad would earn US$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.
The following letter was sent by WICB CEO Michael Muirhead:
Dear Mr Sammy,
The West Indies Players’ Association is the recognised collective bargaining representative of West Indies Cricketers and therefore negotiates the remuneration between WICB and each West Indian player, whether such player is or is not a member of WIPA.
In recognition of the MOU between WICB and WIPA, the WICB will not engage in negotiations on the terms of compensation under the contract with any player or group of players, without the involvement or endorsement of WIPA.
However, we note that you have raised some queries in your mail, and respond as follows:
(i) “we understand USD $8M will be paid to the Board”
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 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.
In fact, it was postulated that India accounted for at least 80% of the global cricket viewership and as such are entitled to the lion’s share of the cumulative ICC revenues.
(ii) “traditionally 25% has been paid to the squad”
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 4 year cycle, will be divided solely among the international players, as agreed with WIPA.
Additionally, I would remind you that the structure for player compensation in relation to ICC Events was communicated in a letter from the CEOs of WIPA and WICB, distributed to players in May 2015.
The contracts which have been issued reflect the arrangements which were set out in that letter, and which are contained in the MOU between WICB and WIPA.
The remuneration to the players for the WT20 comprises an agreed match fee of three times the usual fee, plus 50% of any 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.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me. Do note however, that 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.
We hope that this clarifies the position and anticipate a favourable response.
Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read subsequent letters from both parties as West Indies captain Darren Sammy asks for doubled match fees for T20 World Cup; and WICB CEO Michael Muirhead retorts “ask WIPA.”