Play­ers re­ject four-day Tests and call for bet­ter pay pro­tec­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Cricket - By Tim Wig­more

Three-quar­ters of male in­ter­na­tional play­ers are op­posed to mak­ing all Test matches four days.

The find­ings were in the bian­nual sur­vey from global play­ers’ union Fica. Four-day Test matches were rein­tro­duced in 2017, but all matches in the World Test Cham­pi­onship are five-day af­fairs.

Eng­land seemed open to the idea of fur­ther four-day Tests, but Tom Har­ri­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board, later clar­i­fied he sup­ported such fix­tures only against emerg­ing na­tions. There was also 82 per cent player sup­port for pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion in the World Test Cham­pi­onship, which launched last year.

The threat to in­ter­na­tional cricket posed by the rise of Twenty20 leagues was high­lighted by 53 per cent of play­ers say­ing they would con­sider an im­proved do­mes­tic deal over a na­tional con­tract. The fi­nan­cial un­cer­tainty fac­ing many na­tions was high­lighted by West Indies play­ers tak­ing a 50 per cent pay cut, with cap­tain Ja­son Holder say­ing: “If some­thing doesn’t hap­pen soon, we’ll see less in­ter­na­tional cricket played by the so-called smaller coun­tries”.

Fica’s re­port lamented the lack of so­lu­tions to ad­dress “haves and have-nots” in the sport and warned: “The have-nots con­tinue to face al­most in­sur­mount­able is­sues around rev­enue gen­er­a­tion, in­vest­ment, play­ing op­por­tu­nity and flight of tal­ent. Th­ese coun­tries flirt with sys­tem­atic fail­ure year on year and are re­liant on hand­outs.”

Con­tract breaches and non-pay­ment of play­ers around the world were also high­lighted, with 34 per cent of all play­ers – in­clud­ing 32 per cent of men – hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced is­sues. Prob­lems have arisen in the Bangladesh Premier League and Global T20 Canada, while Bangladesh play­ers have not re­ceived In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil prize money, and Zim­bab­wean play­ers have not had some con­trac­tual pay.

The pro­por­tion of play­ers re­port­ing non-pay­ment prob­lems has dou­bled in two years.

“Cricket is be­hind other sports in com­mit­ting to pro­tect­ing peo­ple, in­clud­ing play­ers at global level, and that needs to change,” said Tom Mof­fat, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Fica, who called on the ICC to help re­solve the is­sue.

Af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of con­cus­sion sub­sti­tutes last year, 53 per cent of play­ers now sup­port in­tro­duc­ing sub­sti­tutes for all gen­uine on-field in­juries.

The ma­jor­ity of play­ers also backed ex­pand­ing the 50-over World Cup from 10 coun­tries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.