Marquee Barbados Tridents batsman, Dwayne Smith, is upset over the non-payment of the final part of his Caribbean Premier League contract, and says a lack of information from authorities is making the situation even more untenable.
The veteran 35-year-old short format specialist was a member of Tridents for the 2018 CPL season but said he and other members of the squad were still awaiting final payments, in the wake of the campaign.
Smith was picked up the draft for US$90 000.
“There was payment. It is the last payment that we’re waiting on and nobody knows what’s going to happen,” Smith said in an interview with Line & Length Network.
“I think it’s something that the CPL should have sorted. They said the last time it happened, it wouldn’t happen again. They gave us their word that they would make sure that this doesn’t happen and it’s still happening.”
The tournament ended September 16 with Trinbago Knight Riders retaining their title, after beating Guyana Amazon Warriors in Port of Spain.
Tridents endured a wretched run with eight defeats in their 10 matches and bowed out the tournament before the playoff stages.
Smith said he was hopeful the payments could be made before year end and said he did not want a scenario which occured in the past, when players were paid just before the next draft.
He also hopes CPL organisers can address the issue for the sake of the tournament.
“I don’t know what they can do but this is something that could hamper the tournament,” he pointed out.
“The CPL has been a talk-a-about tournament since it was introduced and I’m sure that people love to come to the Caribbean to play the cricket and I would never want to see CPL finish but it is something that we really want to get sorted,.
“If it happens before the end of the year I would be happy. The last time we only got paid like two days before the draft. You don’t want that again, but at this point in time, no one knows what’s gonna happen,” said Smith, pointing to his uncertainty over playing in 2019.”
Smith is a popular figure with Barbadian fans and has been one of the more successful batsmen in the league with four hundreds.
And while he too looked forward to playing before his home crowd, Smith said he also needed to be remunerated.
“Everybody knows that Dwayne Smith loves Barbados, but Dwayne Smith also needs to be paid, he needs to feed his family. This is the third time this is happening and you don’t know about it,” said the former Barbados and West Indies batsman.
“I’ve probably had one or two times [when payment was delayed) but it wasn’t for such an extended period of time.
“This is creeping in now and if it doesn’t stop, you’re not going to get any players so it really needs to get sorted.”
More worryingly for Smith is the news of the Tridents franchise owner, Dr Vijay Mallya’s pending extradition to his native India to face alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to nearly US$ one billion.
Mallya, who purchased Tridents two years ago, has been holed up in England while fighting extradition but a London court ruled last week he could be extradited.
“We are unsure about what’s gonna happen. The news about Dr Mallya is even more disturbing. The thing is, we’re trying to get information. I don’t know, but I’ve been trying to get information,” Smith said.
“If I sign a contract and I fulfill my contract, I’m supposed to be paid. It is something that is bothering a lot of the players and some won’t speak out. I know I may get bashed for it, but I am one that speaks out and I would like to know what’s happening.”