Thu | Jun 4, 2020

No pay cuts planned for Windies players – Skerritt

Published:Friday | April 10, 2020 | 12:09 AM
Windies' bowler Andre Russell (centre) celebrates with Darren Bravo (right) after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Haris Sohail as captain Jason Holder looks on during a Cricket World Cup match at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, England on Friday, May 31, 2019.
Windies' bowler Andre Russell (centre) celebrates with Darren Bravo (right) after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Haris Sohail as captain Jason Holder looks on during a Cricket World Cup match at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, England on Friday, May 31, 2019.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Ricky Skerritt, has assured players there are no immediate plans to slash their retainer contracts, as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to affect playing schedules across the globe.

Already, various boards have been forced to postpone or cancel several money-spinning tours, which has bit into revenues and prompted debate as to whether pay cuts should be on the table for elite cricketers.

Last week, England’s cricketers opted to give up 20 per cent of their retainers for the next three months, as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) funding of a £500,000 (over J$84 million) donation to fight the disease.

And Australia Test captain Tim Paine said recently players were prepared for pay cuts as the crisis dragged on.

Skerritt said though retainer contracts were currently under their annual review, there had been no discussion over a reduction in players salaries.

“There has been no move in that direction at this time. We are actually in the process right now, that is the technical team is in the process of reviewing retainer contracts [because] the retainer contracts come to an end within the next couple of months,” he told the Observer here.

“So, it is being looked at as normal, but I expect that we will have to do a bit of a check on where we are and what we can afford to do going forward.”

Windies’ three-Test tour of England scheduled for June 4-25 is up in the air with both the Caribbean and the United Kingdom on lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Virtually all Caribbean nations have reported cases of the deadly virus while the United Kingdom (UK) has been severely hit, already recording 65,000 infections and nearly 8,000 deaths.

May is expected to see infections at their peak across the UK, and the ECB has already pushed back their season until the end of that month.

Windies are expected to host New Zealand in July and South Africa in August but both tours are now under the microscope because of the global shutdown of sports.

Skerritt said the cancellation of tours, especially the home itineraries, would have implications for the board’s revenue stream.

“CWI is facing a rapidly changing world environment for sports and with no sports taking place, with revenues related to broadcast rights and sponsorship and so on, gate receipts, all of those revenues are important, so every sporting organisation around the world is facing issues,” Skerritt said.

“Those that were already facing cash flow issues or other organisational issues will just have it tougher and CWI is one of those.”