FLORIDA, CMC– President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, has announced that some 60 players are to receive retainer contracts in the New Year.
Cameron made his announcement in Florida where the West Indies cricketers are participating in a week-long team building camp ahead of tours of India and New Zealand.
This is believed to be the highest number of retainer contracts ever offered to players by WICB.
“Starting in January, at least 60 players will have regional retainer contracts for the first time. We will also ensure that the support staff is in place in the territories as well,” Cameron said in an interview with the Gleaner.
“I intend to keep building on this relationship, as a matter of priority, and as time goes on there’s more to come.”
Cameron also spoke in glowing terms about the relationship between the WICB and the West Indies Players Associations (WIPA), organizations which have been at loggerheads over a range of issues from player contracts to disputes involving top players like Chris Gayle.
The WICB president says he has been seeking to patch the holes and bring both organisations closer in an effort to create a stronger West Indies cricket product and that the two organsations will soon sign a new Memorandum of Understanding and Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“You will notice that we have not had any public spat with our players’ association,” said Cameron who replaced Julian Hunte in the presidential seat in March.
“This, I think, I’m most encouraged about, because at the heart of the sport are the players. The relationship I believe is evolving positively. As a matter of fact, we have been able to settle a number of matters out of court, clearing the way for a new MOU/CBA”.
Cameron is certain that a better working relationship between the WICB and WIPA will allow both to take full advantage of the commercial potential of West Indies cricket.
“One of the big opportunities for increasing revenues lies in merchandising rights and licensing. We have not really been able to tap into this area for a number of reasons,” said Cameron.
“… but one of the biggest impediments was the negative atmosphere that existed between the players and the board. Remember, the players are who sell merchandise. Now that we’re improving those relations, I expect we will be better able to pursue those opportunities”.