While England’s cricketers and their governing body, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will be benefitting significantly from the ongoing Test tour, West Indies players will be receiving a pittance in comparison to their on-field counterparts.
Reports out of England today suggest West Indies’ players will pick up a maximum £1,875 each as a win bonus if they can maintain the advantage opened up via the thrilling four-wicket win in Southampton on Sunday. However, England’s cricketers are reportedly set to pocket a hefty 17 times as much as the West Indies if they can complete a Wisden Trophy turnaround.
Under the terms of their Cricket West Indies (CWI) contracts, Jason Holder’s team do not receive match win bonuses but are incentivised to win Test series with a total of £23,800 split among the squad.
According to Daily Mail reports, half of the Windies’ win bonus is shared by their entire 15-man squad with the other divided up among those actually taking to the field, meaning the allotment would drop to below £1,600 per man in the event of a win being achieved with all players featuring.
In contrast, England’s cricketers will pick up approximately £6,500 on top of their usual match fees if they level things at 1-1 when the bio-secure #raisethebat series heads to Manchester this week.
With series win bonuses calculated by multiplying the match win bonus by the number of matches in a series, a 2-1 victory for Joe Root’s men would be worth an additional £19,500 per individual, taking their overall bounty to around £32,500.
In May, the cash-strapped Cricket West Indies announced temporary salary cuts of 50 per cent for all employees as a reaction to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision designed to share the pain and safeguard the jobs of the entire staff, including administrators, players, officials and ground staff.
However, those wage reductions – which kicked in on July 1 and are set to be reviewed by December at the latest – have not impacted upon the international match fees and win bonuses agreed in the four-year contract cycle West Indies’ players are currently a quarter of the way through.
CWI have committed 26 per cent of their revenue to paying their international and franchise players but, without a television deal in place, CWI has struggled to replicate the kind of remuneration of cricket’s wealthy nations.
A regular Test match fee of £6,345 is under half of what a centrally-contracted England player picks up.
The poor state of CWI’s finances was highlighted by the ECB recently loaning them £2.4million to help with cash flow while they also had to borrow £1.6m from Bangladesh to fund series between the two teams in the Caribbean in 2018.
Just recently, Windies fast-bowling legend Sir Andy Roberts criticized CWI for not negotiating a better deal for the West Indies players on tour of England. Roberts was critical of the decision to tour England amid the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in light of the trip not benefitting the board nor the players financially.
“I don’t have a problem with them negotiating to go to England but what I have a problem with is there is talk West Indies are not going to benefit from this tour financially,” Roberts said. The former Antigua fast bowler explained that going on the tour would be “a mistake because the chances we are going to take I don’t think much more countries are willing to take that chance.”
Chief Executive Officer of CWI, Johnny Grave, had earlier confirmed that the West Indies would not benefit financially from the tour. He said that according to the ICC Future Tours Programme and the World Test Championship, income generated from a series was retained by the home board.
“Our revenue is therefore restricted to the sponsorship money we receive from our team sponsors,” Grave said then, while explaining that the ECB had covered the “costs of all the mitigating factors” of the tour, while CWI would pick up the tab for player match fees and other allowances.
West Indies’ trip to England, along with the subsequent tours by Pakistan, Ireland and Australia, is set to save the ECB £280m in broadcast rights.
Meanwhile, a move to trial the return of spectators at next week’s third Test at Old Trafford has been yorked by the British Government.
Talks reportedly involving the ECB, Lancashire and officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport took place over the last few days about admitting a small crowd for the final match of the series between July 24-28, but the proposed plan will now not take place.
The Government’s stance on cricket is that they want a trial event to take place at a domestic game first, so there is little prospect of spectators being allowed at next month’s Test series between England and Pakistan either.
England lost the first of the three Tests to West Indies at the Ageas Bowl and are looking to complete a turnaround on Thursday at Emirates Old Trafford to win the Wisden Trophy. (DailyMail/WG)
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