In a significant change from the recent disputes over payments, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has announced a pay hike of significant proportions to the national players. The board did not reveal any figures but the Trinidad and Tobago Express has reported that the 20 players bound for the England tour next month will receive US$1.5 million between them as against the usual figure of $250,000-$300,000.
"The WICB has offered a significantly higher payment to players, (over and above that which would normally have been paid on such a tour) including a special provision for contracted Indian Premier League players to mitigate against any loss of earnings," the board said in its official website.
Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards will participate in the early stages of the IPL before heading to England for the Test leg of the tour which starts first. Fast bowler Jerome Taylor was contracted to the Kings XI Punjab franchise but had to pull out due to injuries sustained in a motor accident. Allrounder Dwayne Bravo isn't part of the Test squad, which makes him available for the Mumbai Indians at least until the one-dayers start in England. The IPL players will be paid on a pro-rata basis by their respective franchises.
During the final stages of England's tour of the West Indies recently, the home side threatened to boycott the fifth and final ODI in St Lucia due to a pay dispute between the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and the WICB. The players were also reportedly unhappy that the board had agreed to the England tour without consulting them, since it clashes with the lucrative IPL.
In another significant development, the WICB has announced a pay hike of up to 300% for the first-class players. The paper reported that the players are set to earn between US$1,400 and $1,500 for a four-day match compared to the $300 they were receiving earlier.
"The WICB offered a revised package which included increases in new match fees of up to 300% on a tiered-basis according to seniority, provident fund provisions and retainer contracts," the website quoted. "A compromise was reached, on a proposal from WIPA that only a flat match fee will be paid to players."