ICL: Indian Cricket League

England players get cash boost


England’s Test players have seen their win bonuses increased to two million pounds (4 million dollars) a year as cricket chiefs react to the cash bonanza caused by the growth of Twenty20.

This represents an impressive three-fold increase on what they could have earned had they won every Test series last year. Administrators are worried by the potential for a rift caused by a difference in earnings between one-day players and Test specialists.

For example, England’s one-day side can expect to get approximately 250,000 pounds (500,000 dollars) each if they win a match organised by Texan billionaire Allen Stanford against a West Indies all-stars side in Antigua.

Further riches are on offer from a lucrative domestic Twenty20 competition in India. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke previously downplayed talk of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff playing in next year’s edition on the grounds they might injure themselves ahead of the showpiece Ashes series at home to Australia.

But ECB chief executive David Collier has announced a 10-day window in which England players could take play in India after the tour of the West Indies. However the likes of England Test captain Michael Vaughan and opening batsman Andrew Strauss have missed out on these one-day riches, something officials have tried to counter-act with their bonus scheme.

It comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s announcement of a new Twenty20 tournament with two domestic teams each from England, Australia, South Africa and India due to take place later this year.

The winners of the inaugural Champions League are set to take home 2.5 million pounds (five million dollars), a huge amount by English county standards. “We’re moving immensely fast as a game,” said Clarke at Trent Bridge here Sunday after England’s innings and nine run victory saw them wrap up a 2-0 Test series win against New Zealand.

“The game has changed in terms of remuneration and opportunities for players beyond all recognition over the last nine months. “But it’s a path we need to go down with care. We’re going to need to ensure that if we have people who are pure Test specialists they are also rewarded.”

Previous win bonuses for England Test players stood at 180,000 pounds (360,000 dollars) for triumphing in a three-match series and 215,000 pounds (430,000 dollars) for success in a five-match campaign.

But now the Test side will each take a share of the 2 million pounds on offer of they win the four series England usually play in a 12-month period. The new system will take effect from the start of the four-match series against South Africa, which gets underway at Lord’s on July 10.

Unlike before, the bonuses will take account of the opposition with a greater reward on offer for beating Australia than Bangladesh. England’s players will decide on how the money should be split, with Clarke saying: “We’re very keen on the players developing a structure which they feel is fair. They are the best people to decide.”

One potential complication in the Champions League, which Australian officials have been given the task of solving, is working out which teams players should appear for in the event.

For example, former Test batsman Justin Langer could presently represent either Western Australia, who’ve already qualified, or Somerset if they fill one of the spots on offer to the finalists of England’s domestic Twenty20 Cup.

Plans are set to be presented at the International Cricket Council annual meeting in Dubai on June 29.“We don’t yet know what the Australians will produce because it’s not just one issue, it’s quite a lot of issues,” added Clarke, himself a former chairman of Somerset.

“They have got to sit down and look at it from the point of view of establishing a competition that is durable over 20 or 25 years. We’ve got to address the whole issue of who plays for the teams, the overseas players and what the teams are.”

Source:Cricket News

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