BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Hugh Gore believes that the disparity between the fees being paid to West Indies players for international appearances, and the fees given to players in first-class cricket in the Caribbean is disgraceful.
The Leeward Islands manager was speaking ahead of a proposed two-day meeting between officials of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) in Bar-bados to settle a number of outstanding issues.
“It is disrespectful,” said Gore. “I’m not a member of the players’ association, but I hope they and the West Indies Cricket Board can sit down and come up with an honest financial package for these guys that are playing first-class cricket.”
Players – depending on their seniority – in the WICB regional four-day competition pocket between US $250 and US $400 for each match.
“This is four days of hard cricket,” added Gore. “Guys come out here and give their heart and soul just as much as they do at the highest level.
“I think the time is long overdue for them to sit down and seriously review what they are giving to first-class players. It is peanuts.
“Nobody is telling you to give them something big, big, but give people something big that they can survive on.”
All three matches in the 11th round of the WICB’s regional four-day competition started a day late last Saturday.
This followed industrial action by the players involved in the three matches, as well as a protest in the first of five One-day International between West Indies and England in Guyana triggered by the West Indies Players’ Association, after its President and Chief Executive Officer Dinanath Ramnarine quit on Thursday as a director of the WICB.
Among the issues which Ramnarine identified as leading to his decision to step away from the WICB position was the failure of the the governing body to deal with the issue of retainer contracts and fees for first-class players, injury payments to players, non implementation of updated anti-doping policy and the non-payment of players for the recently concluded New Zealand series.
“They have to get their house in order – whether it it be WICB or Ramnarine and WIPA – because these [first-class] players are being given a raw deal for this tough cricket they are playing right now,” said Gore.
“It is not all about winning for some of these players. These guys come out here and give their heart and soul, and what we want to see in the West Indies is development.”
“But the money they are paying guys in first-class cricket would not encourage them to go to the next level.”
“Can every player make it to the Test level? No! So I beg them to find a little money – beg for advance for something – and reward the first-class players.”
Gore also noted that managers, coaches, and other support staff of regional first-class teams were also highly underpaid.