Shimron Hetmyer gets Rs 8.5 crore from Rajasthan Royals to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), while Kolkata Knight Riders pays Andre Russell Rs 16 crore annually. This huge amount is an indication that the financial landscape of cricket has changed and players playing for the West Indies is no longer a source of inspiration. Money matters more to these West Indies players. This has created the biggest hurdle for Cricket West Indies (CWI) in keeping at least the top players interested throughout the year.
Players like Russell and Narine out of contract
The West Indies did not have the services of Hetmyer, Andre Russell or Sunil Narine during the ongoing World Cup qualifiers. All these players are not in the 18-member central contract list released by CWI last year. All of them had opted out voluntarily as they play in different T20 leagues of the world throughout the year. Nicholas Pooran, who won a bid of Rs 16 crore from Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, is included in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers. He also played a century in this tournament.
How much do West Indies players get paid?
IPL franchises own most of the teams in SAT20 (South Africa’s T20 league), International T20 League (UAE) and Major League Cricket (USA). With these franchises planning to give long-term and multi-league deals to players, it will be interesting to see how long an explosive batsman like Pooran continues to represent the West Indies. The players were paid $ 5750 (about Rs. 4.72 lakhs per match) for Tests, $ 2300 (about Rs. 1.88 lakhs per match) for ODIs and $ 1735 (about Rs. 1.42 lakhs) for T20 Internationals.
It is not known whether CWI had revised these figures or not. If these figures are correct, West Indies players earn three and a half to four times less than their Indian counterparts, who get Rs 15 lakh for Tests, Rs 8 lakh for ODIs and Rs 4 lakh for T20 Internationals. Apart from this, West Indies players also have a central contract. Players who play at least two formats for the team can earn $ 240,000 (about Rs 1.97 crore) annually, while those who play three formats can earn $ 300,000 (about Rs 2.5 crore) annually. Match fees are also included in both these figures.
Salary of West Indies players is less than match fees of players of many countries
Compare this with India, even players playing one format like Cheteshwar Pujara earn more than this. Pujara does not have an IPL contract. He gets three crore rupees from the central contract of BCCI, if match fees are added to this, then his annual earning reaches more than four crore rupees. Now looking at Hetmyer’s case, playing in five different T20 leagues within six months, he can easily earn as much as he would get from eight Tests, 15 ODIs and 20 T20 Internationals for the West Indies. For so many matches, he will have to stay with the team for almost the whole year. Another problem with West Indies cricket is the lack of a sense of nationalism. The West Indies team is made up of many Caribbean countries and in such a situation the players represent West Indies cricket instead of their country.
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