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2 months of IPL: Pooran earns nearly 8 times, Hetmyer 4 times of what they would for representing WI

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New Delhi, July 2 (PTI): Shimron Hetmyer’s Rs 8.50 crore annual IPL fees earned from Rajasthan Royals or Andre Russell’s Rs 16 crore retention fee from Kolkata Knight Riders is an indication how cricket’s financial landscape has changed and playing for the West Indies isn’t a motivation anymore.

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It is the money that matters and has created the biggest hindrance for Cricket West Indies (CWI) from at least keeping the top players interested throughout the year.

During the ongoing World Cup qualifiers, West Indies didn’t have the services of Hetmyer, Andre Russell or Sunil Narine, all of whom are not in the 18 member central contract list released last year by CWI. All of them had voluntarily opted out as they do freelance in T20 leagues throughout the year.

Ncholas Pooran, who got a Rs 16 crore deal from Lucknow Super Giants this year, played in the qualifiers, scored a hundred, but how long can Caribbean cricket establishment force him to wear the maroon in the wake of multi-year deal that his IPL franchise might offer to play in IPL as well as SA T20?

Add with it, a CPL, BBL and possibly a contract in Major League Cricket (MLC) in hand, the dashing left-hander could well be on his way out.

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The last documented match fees for West Indies players, which was published by ESPN Cricinfo in 2017 — was USD 5750 for Tests (Rs 4.72 lakh per game), USD 2300 for ODIs (1.88 lakh per game) and USD 1735 (Rs 1.42 lakh).

Now there is no official document available on the internet to ascertain whether CWI had revised these figures but if these are the numbers, they earn at least three-and-half to four times less than their Indian counterparts who get Rs 15 lakh (nearly USD 18,000) for Tests, Rs 8 lakh for ODIs (USD 9800 approx) and Rs 4 lakh (USD 4800) for T20Is.

Also West Indies players do have a central contract and those who play at least two formats stand to earn at least USD 240,000 (Rs 1.97 crore) and those playing three formats could earn USD 300,000 (Rs 2.5 crore) annually. Both the figures include match fees.

A Cheteshwar Pujara, who doesn’t have an IPL contract and plays only one format, just through his central contract earns more annually — Rs 3 crore (USD 365,000). Add the match fees to it, the earnings could significantly go up to USD 500,000 (USD 487,000 approximately).

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Now try telling a Hetmyer that he should stop playing in more than three T20 leagues when he could possibly play in five different leagues for six months and get a six-month break for the rest of the year and yet earn close to USD2 million, which is nearly 8-10 times of what he could potentially earn playing may be eight Tests, 15 ODIs and 20 T20Is, won’t be correct.

It means 75 international days plus add another 30, the gap between games, which means around three-and-half months of international cricket for a year in terms of conservative estimate. There obviously will be series that will overlap with some lucrative T20 league or the other and some big star or the other will miss out.

West Indies’ ouster from World Cup qualifiers might have disappointed millions but shocked only a few as it was always round the corner.

Just like the concept of an array of nations playing under one flag doesn’t appeal to the younger generation, very few people in the West Indies cricket establishment have genuinely tried to address the much larger issue, the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ — lack of ‘Vitamin M’.

If ‘M’ stands for motivation for representing the unified Caribbean flag, then ‘M’ also stands for ‘Money’ and money matters.

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The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
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