Cricketers from Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland have approached the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) to see if ‘any potential recourse is open to them’ with Euro T20 Slam cancelled even before taking off.
The franchise-based T20 tournament which was supposed to be held later this month was shelved with the organisers citing financial problems. It has left several players from Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland - including marquee picks like Rashid Khan and Eoin Morgan - out of contract and with little hope of securing the wages promised to them.
A FICA survey of almost 400 current men’s and women’s professional players conducted in 2018-19 suggests over 34 per cent of them have experienced late payment or non-payment under contract from various leagues. The Euro T20 Slam was set up by the same group of people that ran the Global T20 Canada. where there were also issues of players not being compensated on time.
“Some players had foregone other opportunities to commit to the league," FICA head Tony Irish said in a press release on Monday (August 19). “And we also believe the league has an obligation to players to demonstrate some goodwill given the expectation created, especially if there is a genuine plan to go ahead with the event in the future.
“FICA had been in the process of assisting SCA (Scottish Cricketers’ Association), ICA (Irish Cricketers’ Association) and the players to put in place some basic contractual protections, in particular relating to player payments specific to the Euro T20 Slam. What has happened now simply emphasises the need for these protections.
“Separately, FICA is also aware of numerous cases of players not being paid what is owed to them under their playing contracts for other previously completed domestic T20 leagues."
Many of these players are from Associate nations like Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer, meaning they would realistically have very little chance of securing an IPL or BBL contract.
“Let’s be honest, pretty much every one of the players was going to earn more in that space of time, to what they would earn in a full year playing cricket," Coetzer was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“You have to look at the impact it may have on some guys and certainly there’s a couple of boys that were potentially looking to go away at some time during the winter and now they probably need to get a job. It would have created giving guys an opportunity to feel an element of security in what we try and do."
Irish sympathised with them, saying, “The players also play a critical role for the sport globally, and it’s time for enforceable protections to be put in place for players too. They should not be left to exercise leverage or litigate in various part of the world to enforce basic contractual rights, especially when they’ve delivered the value that they’ve been contracted for. Like employees in all other industries, players make life decisions based on what is owed to them.
“This is an issue that we are working in global regulations discussions with the ICC and member Boards and FICA has proposed proactive solutions to non-payment issues. We will continue to advocate for appropriate protections to form part of the game’s regulatory framework, including minimum contract standards, payment enforcement mechanisms, and a fit for purpose dispute resolution body. There is precedent for similar measures in progressive sports around the world."