Sammy urges WICB to double T20 W/Cup match fees in third letter

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The following letter is the third in a series of exchanges between West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) CEO Michael Muirhead, which was shared with Wired868 by I95.5 FM sport journalist, Andre Baptiste:

Photo: West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy. (Copyright UK Telegraph)
Photo: West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy.
(Copyright UK Telegraph)

Thanks for the response, Michael.

Look, I do have some further comments and queries.

Firstly, as a group we don’t accept that WIPA can represent us. WIPA became conflicted during its negotiations with you and compromised itself.

It could not and did not actively represent the best interests of all West Indies cricketers and is a major reason we are having this discussion.

KFC Munch Pack

The difference between the remuneration on offer from previous World Cups to this one is shocking and we cannot accept the terms on offer.

For instance, in the 2012 T20 World Cup the lowest paid player was guaranteed US$57,937. The highest was guaranteed US$137,045.

Figures were higher in 2014. Players were remunerated based on their experience as well.

Photo: West Indies pacer Kemar Roach (right) celebrates with captain Darren Sammy.
Photo: West Indies pacer Kemar Roach (right) celebrates with captain Darren Sammy.

You said that it was not possible to calculate a percentage to be paid to the players. Can you then inform us of the amount WICB received in the new payment structure from the ICC?

To now be offered just US$6,900 per match across the board irrespective of experience is totally unacceptable. Players are being asked to start providing services from nearly four weeks ahead of the World Cup and be guaranteed just US$27,600 if they play all the guaranteed matches (which) is a staggering reduction. We are looking, even on 2012 figures, (at) reductions of between 50-80%.

What happens if you do not make the playing XI?

If the team plays matches ahead of the tournament that are official T20 matches they should be remunerated as well.

Since you have taken out the 25% share from ICC which was Guaranteed to the squad:

We suggest that 100% of prize money needs to be paid to the players as per previous tournaments. Twenty percent should not be retained by the WICB.

Photo: WICB CEO Michael Muirhead. (Copyright Jamaica Observer)
Photo: WICB CEO Michael Muirhead.
(Copyright Jamaica Observer)

It is the players performing for the prize and further cuts are again completely unacceptable.

What is the sponsorship income that has been generated? We are being offered a percentage of what exactly?

With the tournament a month away has the WICB locked in a sponsor? With the tournament happening in India we would expect that our squad has something of significant value to offer, or is the sponsorship income zero?

We also suggest that the match fees be doubled from US$6,900.

In summary, we cannot accept the terms on offer. The players are not happy and understandably so with such big differences.

The previous structure worked and players were happy and understood it.

Please address this urgently.


Darren Sammy

Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a contest against the West Indies. (Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)
Photo: India cricketer Rohit Sharma (centre) waits on a decision from the third umpire in a contest against the West Indies.
(Copyright Glyn Kirk/AFP 2014)

The following is the response from WICB CEO Michael Muirhead to West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy:

Dear Mr Sammy,

Thank you for your response.

Any issues you or a particular group of players may have with the representation you receive from your association, respectfully, are best taken up with WIPA. As it stands however, WIPA is the exclusive collective bargaining agent for West Indian players—regardless of who those particular players may be at any given time. 

Kindly note that the terms on offer were negotiated and agreed between WICB and WIPA with the assistance of representatives from the ICC and FICA during a mediation process last year, and all parties agreed that they were fair and equitable and acceptable to be offered to the members WI team selected for the relevant ICC Event.

As mentioned in my previous email to you, this information was shared with all players following that process in May last year. Players were given an opportunity to discuss the new structure and no concerns were raised at that time.

Photo: WIPA president Wavell Hinds (right) and WICB president Dave Cameron exchange pleasantries at the opening of WIPA's new office in Jamaica in 2014. (Courtesy WIPA)
Photo: WIPA president Wavell Hinds (right) and WICB president Dave Cameron exchange pleasantries at the opening of WIPA’s new office in Jamaica in 2014.
(Courtesy WIPA)

It is disappointing that you would choose to question the terms now, on the eve of the WT20 in India.

Given the input and effort that went into reaching the agreement with respect to player compensation for ICC Events, WICB is not prepared to unilaterally vary the position at this time, or to negotiate different terms without the involvement or endorsement of WIPA.

The old hierarchical system of payment meant that the 15 man squad selected for a particular ICC Event received a grossly disproportionate amount of compensation for just that one event, with senior players gaining significantly more only on the basis of having played more international matches, whereas the new system means that 25% of the distributions received from ICC are placed into the player payment pool, from which players at all levels of West Indies Cricket can benefit.

In any event, as stated in my previous email, the WICB no longer receives any money from the ICC which is specifically linked to any one event.

It is unfortunate that you feel unable to accept the terms on offer.

Photo: West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy makes a point.
Photo: West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy makes a point.

We are looking forward to you accepting the terms on offer. We will await confirmation from each player as to whether he is accepting or refusing selection to the WI Team for the ICCWT20 2016.

If we should not hear from any player by February 14, as outlined in the email from Mr Holder, we will presume that you have refused selection for the event.

If you would like additional clarification on any of the issues raised in your mail, please do feel free to give me a call so that we can discuss.

Michael Muirhead
Chief Executive Officer

Photo: WICB CEO Michael Muirhead. (Copyright ESPN)
Photo: WICB CEO Michael Muirhead.
(Copyright ESPN)

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the initial exchange of letters between West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy and WICB CEO Michael Muirhead.

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  1. Warning: Undefined variable $userid in /www/wired868_759/public/wp-content/plugins/user-photo/user-photo.php on line 114
    • So according to the CEO the President and Vice President was just was showing “passion” in trying influence selectors to pick Chanderpaul for Australia home series.

      While what happened to Bravo and Pollard, selectors was just following “protocol” on selection policies

      Ha we all must me idiots Lasana Liburd Andre Baptiste Savitri Maharaj Davis Melville Melville Foster Kent Fuentes Nerisha Mohammed Stephon Nicholas Anthony Deyal Kirwin Weston Beena Gosine Mark Pouchet David Gintoki Aguillera Shaun Lynch Chabeth Haynes Kion S Williams Santokie Nagu Kyon Esdelle Bruce Aanensen Roneil K Walcott Rawle Toney Nigel Gittens Kendall Tull Gordon Pierre

  2. Hinds makes his first interview since the India pull out occurred Bruce Aanensen Mark Pouchet Lasana Liburd Andre Baptiste Anthony Deyal smh

    • One part says the players getting less money than in 2012. The end says match fees increased to $6900. So I’m confused.
      In any case, is there no avenue for these players to form their own union?

    • Yea a lawyer was suggesting a way they could to Garth Wattley in a express article a few days ago

    • Yeah. There should be a union for the elite players and one for everybody else because it seems as if best representation for the two groups is at odds with each other.
      And in fairness to the WICB, a company can’t be held ransom by non- unionised employees.

    • Yea but that probably won’t even be necessary now because after this T20 W-Cup those seniors will be gone from West Indies cricket for good – all are at the end of their tether.

      Essentially this saga is just a continuation of general argument repeating itself since India pull out

      WICB in their aims to improve domestic cricket want to pay the regional players more (although majority are shit) – while players don’t agree with cuts whether it’s for tests, odi or t20 now World Cup

      WIPA is ridiculously too close to WICB. Looking at world sports example this would be a perfect opportunity for their to be a NBA/NFL style lockout against the WICB – but that won’t happen with WIPA acting like a WICB subsidiary.

      Plus contracted players taking another cut by not being selected in cpl draft – so they just loosing all the time smfh

      In a nutshell WICB may have good base intentions, but they clearly:

      A) Dont have enough money right now to pay everyone and improve domestic system so quickly

      B) Are making a illogical cricket risk by investing a useless generation of domestic cricketers

    • Facts are a pesky annoyance, aren’t they? And what a narrow minded view of our domestic cricketers! Have we not seen significant progress in some areas, for example our Women’s Team and our Under 19 Team? Where do you think the money comes from for such developmental initiatives?

    • Yes I’m sorry our domestic cricket is full of great cricketers! Let me enlighten you with some pesky and annoying facts

      Is this why Devon Smith mountains of runs every year yet when picked for West Indies he can’t score a run?

      Is this why Nikita Miller averages less than 20 in domestic cricket and yet could buy a wicket at international level?

      Is this why Shai Hope who vaguely impressed as a # 3 batsman for Barbados was chosen to open for West Indies in tests in Chris Gayle absence? Where are the domestic openers Gerard?

      Oh I see the openers was Guyanese Rajendra Chandrika who got a test debut without scoring a first class hundred and scored 3 ducks & hasn’t registered a score plus 30 yet? I see your point a lot of quality there

      Shane Dorwich was also a significant improvement from domestic cricket on Chanderpaul to bat in the middle order after the selectors dropped him from test squad? Ooozing quality!!!

      – This improvement is also very evident as Leeward Islands continue to give us headline performances

      Plus how could I forget – cricket history has clearly proven that performances in under 19 cricket has always been a clear barometer as to how young players will translate into international cricket.

      So if windies win under-19 world cup, lets fly them home and parade them from the streets from Kingston Kingston in the North to Georgetown in the South and let every CARICOM government give them their respective highest national honours

      Also the women aren’t relevant to this specific discussion

  3. For immediate release
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Two players withdraw from World Twenty20 squad

    St. John’s, ANTIGUA – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) wishes to advise that two of the 15-member squad selected to participate in the ICC World Twenty20 in India in March to April have withdrawn.

    The players and reasons are:
    1) On Tuesday February 9, Kieron Pollard withdrew from the squad citing a lack of sufficient progress in his rehabilitative work (injury sustained in December) and hence won’t be fit for tournament.

    2) On Friday, February 12, Sunil Narine withdrew citing insufficient progress in the rehabilitative work on his bowling action. He is currently banned from bowling in International Cricket.

    The selectors have today named Carlos Brathwaite to replace Pollard. A replacement for Narine has not yet been named.

    Carole Beckford
    Manager, Communications and Marketing
    West Indies Cricket Board Inc.
    T. 268.481.2464 | F. 268.481.2498

  4. Confirmation confirmed of Pollard and Narine as I was told.. and more news to come

  5. Two big players will soon announce they not playing in W Cup

  6. Kheron yeah so they would not have to pay the u19 Smh WICB again.

  7. Dear Sir,
    As captain of the WT20 team, I wish that we can settle this matter and focus on preparations for the tournament. I want to state on behalf of the players that we want to play and will represent the West Indies to the best of our abilities. The embarrassment and fiasco of the Indian Tour which was called off by the Board must not be allowed to happen. However, it is the arrogance and high-handedness of the Board which cause these problems. You cannot continue force players to be represented by a body that they are not members of and do not want to represent them. You cannot continue to be unfair and unreasonable. Issues like this will continue to plague West Indies cricket unless you have an MOU and arrangements for non-WIPA players are fair and just. We are aware that, win or lose, this may well be the last tournament for most of us as reprisals will set in but we will speak out for what is fair. We are players and we know that unless radical changes take place, players will always have the grievance of which we complain.
    We simply find it bizarre that the Board does not know how much it will receive from the ICC for the tournament! How you receive the value may be spread over time but you surely should know what the income is.
    Notwithstanding the above, we ask that you consider our request to double the match fees, share 50% of sponsorship fees and award 100% of prize money to the players.
    If you don’t agree to the above, would you consider that this matter goes to mediation for a settlement.
    We believe that the above options are fair and reasonable. We have compromised on our earlier request that original formula be used. We trust that the Board will also be willing to compromise.

  8. I’d like to know if West Indies cricket has benefited at all with Cameron’s leadership of the WICB and likewise with Hinds’ leadership of the WIPA. Has regional cricket benefited from the new payment structure? Has the WI senior team benefited as well? Why are our best cricketers drawn to the IPL’s, Big Bashes, etc.?

    And what are the existing arrangements with the ICC in terms of tournaments and funding of the WICB itself? If the WICB is already getting funding from the ICC and other Boards for matches, tours or tournaments then should the member Caribbean territories fund them as well? Do they use our cricket grounds for free? If so, why?

    As a relatively young taxpaying Trinbagonian and West Indian, by extension, I’d like to know the answers to these queries.

    • Jacy Warrick My best attempts to answer your questions would be:

      – Consider all the madness since India pull out – WI cricket has had no benefits from his leadership and with more madness yet to come, he is on a firm path to be rated as the worst WICB president ever.

      – WIPA no, worst off under Hinds since Ramnarine left

      – Players are being drawn to those T20s leagues because of legacy of bad relationships with WICB and new MOU/CBA pay structure – that is cutting WI players pay across all formats.

      – ICC funding to WICB for tournaments unclear ATM or at least to fact check the WICB explanation by CEO Muirhead that they don’t know how much board is getting

      – ICC nor boards don’t fund the WICB

      – I think only in Antigua is only country where WICB gets to use to ground either for free or very low rent cost. In recent years WICB has been making territories bid to hosts test matches, similarly to how England makes their counties bid to hosts tests

  9. Never a dull day in West Indies cricket. Interesting WIPA doesn’t represent them

  10. WICB allegedly supported the big three in ICC on the basis, we were told by the President, that we would benefit by getting more income. If this is so, why the need to cut salaries????

  11. Just wondering if the Pres and the CEO of the WICB earn salaries? If they do,will they be willing to take a similar cut in salary?

  12. If the the WICB is right, then what has happened since the tour of India, that would unilaterally see players accepting an 80% cut in salaries?. Also what is in place for for negotiations on beh of non WIPA members?

  13. I think this is a good showdown to have towards the eventual dissolution of the current WICB. The Caricom sub-committee on cricket should be on stand by to implement their plan when the thing eventually unravels.

    • Allyuh serious? CARICOM? Show me their track record nah. Steups, oui!

    • Gerard anything is better than these clowns in charge of the WICB!

    • Nigel, you are of course entitled to your opinion and I’m sure you have your reasons. The issues are much more complex than many are prepared (or able) to accept though.

    • Let the WICB get off their lazy backsides and find a suitable sponsor for the PCL! You can’t take market match fees from players and place it into a players pool and not get this reaction. As an IR professional yourself I’m sure you can appreciate this!

    • Nigel, as I said earlier, it is not as simple (or simplistic) as that. Remember that the new CBA/MOU was finalised last year with the input of ICC and FICA, the world bodies representing the cricket boards and players, respectively.

    • Gerard cut the crap misinformation about the realities of international cricket.

      CARICOM track record does not matter. Sri Lanka and Pakistan governments have already shown many times in last decade a model where a country’s government (Sri Lanka was run by an IMC for the entire 2015) can intervene and bring stability to a country’s cricket board whose is under investigation for mismanagement, corruptions etc – with ICC having no ability to stop them as a weak governing body.

      CARICOM despite whatever issues they have certain they have done nothing as bad as Pakistan who has hiding Bin Laden and has taken their country to point where nobody can tour them.

      Nor Sri Lanka who for over 25 years between 1984-2009 could had its population endure a civil war – while the cricket team was developing

    • Colin, please either point out exactly what “misinformation about the realities of international cricket” I have presented, or just admit that you have nothing constructive to add. I am growing weary of responding to folks who are not willing or able to deal with facts and issues. Ah waiting eh….

    • Wait man I thought you were good at grammar? I guess I was wrong haha

      You are trying to paint the picture in your comment “Allyuh serious? CARICOM? Show me their track record nah. Steups, oui!” as you have done many other times – that is nothing more than a boring WICB talking point – that because CARICOM as a government institution doesn’t have great track record – they either can’t dissolve the WICB.

      The realities of international cricket totally discredits this fallacy if you knew anything about the history of government intervention in Pakistan and Sri Lanka into their cricket boards

    • Ha smh – what a joker I feel I’m a have to do like Savitri Maharaj and start ignoring your posts.

      You acting just like WICB officials when you throw the obvious facts in your face – just going around in ciricles. Soon the wired868 community will collectively laugh in your face at your rubbish cricket logic and POVs – just like how the audience at the chaguanas town hall laughed at Dave Cameron last year Mark Pouchet Stephon Nicholas Lasana Liburd

    • Colin Benjamin, I can’t say I expected anything more from you nah. Carry on smartly fella. Steups, oui!

    • I’m not smart at all remember you are my english teacher – so i need you in my life ha

    • Personally, I wouldn’t trust Caricom to sell bottled water in the desert. But that isn’t what we are asking of them.
      Their only job will be to help set up a cricket body that isn’t top heavy.
      I would agree with Gerard that the situation is more complex than it should be. Because many of the regional boards support the current WICB leadership.
      That doesn’t auger well for even a new body.
      For instance, people want Trinidad and Tobago to break away. But Bassarath is no saint either while he has also been privy to this nonsense and victimized his own players to boot.
      So I agree with you Gerard that cricket won’t be easily saved. I disagree in terms of who the main villains of this piece are.

    • Yea that’s pretty much my point in this situation – CARICOM would have a set task to revamp the WICB with independent help even if its from overseas -then leave.

      No government is perfect in football right now, not everyone is too excited about the USA leading the clean up act on FIFA with all those arrests.

      Pakistan who apparently was holding Bin Laden and the country is so unsafe now, they can’t play cricket there still did a good job of cleaning up the PCB many times since 2000.

      Similarly with Sri Lanka and their civil war issues which prompted Kumar Sangakkara to use the 2011 MCC Spirit of cricket forum to diss Sri Lanka and the cricket board .

      Even right here in caribbean when UNC cousins in Guyana the PPP was ruled by one of the worst caricom leaders in Bharrat Jagdeo they were on the right track of trying to disband the Guyana cricket board which has a litany of corruption issues – before the WICB mingled with the process.

    • I do agree also it will be a complex process because we got to get all head of states and sports ministries behind it, plus even consider if its necessary to find independent people to sit on the various terriotorial cricket boards

  14. wICB think they have the players over abarrel. I think they forgot the walkout in India which looks like it will happen again. Only difference is that they get to field Team X.

  15. i recommend the WICB negotiate ndividually with players

  16. ..third letter …? This is ominous..would there be a fourth or fifth..? Unlikely…

  17. B team for the World T20 then I guess.

  18. I wonder if this is what happened in India last year?

  19. I hope whoever is spearheading the efforts to set up the football players association is looking at WIPA and taking notes on what not to do…

  20. But what does WICB win for supposedly being right?
    They are wrong even when they are right. Because it is their job to make cricket affairs and they should have seen this coming long ago. This chaos was inevitable.

  21. It seems like d WICB do not like d windies star to play as a team in India bc if those figures are right they have to b joking!! WIPA can not b serious if those figures are right

  22. As I said before, the players should be aware of what WIPA is negotiating on their behalf, and if they are not happy, either make representation to WIPA for better terms, or replace their representatives. Sorry to say, but the WICB are right this time.

  23. WICB pull a smart one, this is what I think happened. -> WICB & WIPA made a deal on behalf of the players last year but the players could not really respond because the 15 mansquad was not selected as yet and rhe WICB knew that. Darren and team are only now responding because they are now part of the 15 man squad. WICB & WIPA are acting like snakes. How much are they being paid? They should also take a reduction in salary.

  24. All that going on there is ideological gridlock – WICB regurgitating old talking points and players sticking to their rightful guns. Shows how foolish, naive and delusional WICB is to think regardless of those ICC factors (whether accurate or not) – that they could set up that new pay set up for T20 World Cup knowing very well since 2014 that senior players who are not in WIPA – that were always likely to be in T20 world cup (injury and fitness permitting) would make any effort to discuss anything with WIPA.

    There is your rat

  25. The players refuse to accept WIPA and see it as hopelessly compromised.

  26. I wish I had the power to vote the current WICB & WIPA members out of office.

  27. Oh, well WIPA just needs to step up and renegotiate then if it’s a proper union…

  28. Been talking to a few players in the last hour – basically regurgitating what Sammy said. I swear a good lawyer could destroy Muirhead’s argument and expose holes in the so called law as it stands

  29. On a serious note, I support the players.

  30. I once had a pen pal back in the 1990s before all this fancy email and social media. I applaud WICB & Darren Sammy for bring it back.

  31. WICB & Darren Sammy are pen pals.

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