Regional cricketers should be free to choose whether or not they want to take up contractual offers from Cricket West Indies (CWI), or seek deals elsewhere in various T20 leagues worldwide.
So said Bryan Davis, former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies cricketer, during an interview yesterday.
Last week, it was revealed in a story on Cricinfo website that CWI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Johnny Grave proposed a new policy of more flexible and enhanced contracts, including exclusive retainers for Test and limited-overs cricket.
The highest-paid category will be for players who feature in Tests and ODIs, with a maximum retainer of over US$300,000 including match fees.
Asked if that policy will attract the T20 specialists such as Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo, back to the WI fold in other formats, Davis replied, “That is up to a man and his own finances. I think Cricket West Indies has done a good thing in increasing the pay for all the cricketers.
“As far as the money is concerned, that’s a man’s personal business,” Davis stressed. “I can’t tell a man what he has to work for, if he should play Test cricket or earn money in T20.”
In July, CWI announced an amnesty with its star players, who were subsequently considered for selection for the WI limited-overs teams.
However, ace off-spinner Sunil Narine has declined an invitation to join the ODI team for the current New Zealand series, while batsman Darren Bravo has also not featured despite ending a feud with CWI president Dave Cameron which had sidelined him for months. Darren’s brother, Dwayne, also recently said he is not interested in returning to the Windies fold, despite the increase remuneration package.
“I don’t know what is the atmosphere within the team itself at this stage,” said Davis. “They’ve never discussed it with me so I wouldn’t know the reasons why. That is personal up to the cricketer himself.”
Davis pointed out, “As a former cricketer, I was in a day when you play cricket for the love of cricket. The little stipends we got were hardly anything that we could live on. Our outlook was very difficult to the modern cricketer.
“I know before Darren Bravo had the problem with the Board (now CWI), he used to say that he loved Test cricket and that’s what he wanted to play, and he was not interested in the T20 game. Now that he’s in the T20 game and making himself unavailable for Test cricket, he’s on teams but I’m not seeing his name appearing (in matches),” Davis added.