Many players from the West Indies are increasingly participating in money-rich competitions around the world. Oftentimes, the Windies cricket has made headlines for lower wages and perks; in recent times the side’s big players such as Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have argued with the board over those playing abroad; both were not selected for the national team squad for the T20 World Cup.
The problem further increased when the West Indies were knocked out of the T20 World Cup in the qualifying stage and failed to secure a Super 12 berth. Losses to inexperienced Scotland and Ireland were attributed to a lackluster performance and the absence of some key players from the West Indies squad.
Former West Indian all-rounder Daren Sammy has expressed concern about the pay gap between West Indian cricketers and cricketers from other countries.
“A player with a contract in India A can probably make a million dollars a year ( 7 crore plus competition fees plus money for TV rights) compared to a Windies A-lister, which would earn USD 150,000 ( 1.2 crore approximately),” said Sammy.
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The 38-year-old expressed his pain by saying that the love of cricket was not enough to entice players to play for a particular purpose.
“Gone are the days when you played for love. Love does not buy groceries from the supermarket,” says the all-rounder.
As to why some players chose to play in T20 leagues around the world, Sammy highlighted some key points.
“That is a huge difference and of course the issue of pay (inequality) will always come up. It is very difficult for smaller boards (in terms of financial power) to keep their players together when they are well paid elsewhere,” he explained.
“India is strong because they can tell their players that you don’t play anywhere else. You have to understand that they have the money to back it up,” Sammy said, referring to an example of the situation in India.
The former West Indies captain further cited the New Zealand Cricket Board (NZC) example of how they handled the interests of their players and dealt with schedules accordingly.
“I think NZC is doing quite well (no international cricket planned during IPL). If NZC can do it, it comes down to communication. It’s up to the players and the boards to get a working system,” Sammy said.