(CMC) — The Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) has announced its opposition to an unprecedented move by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to levy 20 per cent of the contract fee on Caribbean players seeking to take part in overseas T20 tournaments.
FICA is threatening legal action against the WICB after all-rounder Kieron Pollard was denied a No-Objection Certificate to compete in South Africa’s Domestic T20 League, ESPN Cricinfo has reported.
In an emailed letter from WICB’s chief executive officer Michael Muirhead on November 3, Pollard was informed that permission would not be granted to him until various boards featuring Caribbean players in their Domestic T20 tournaments agree with WICB’s new policy.
Muirhead has described the new policy as a decision of the WICB board of directors and said all the ICC Full Member boards have been notified.
“The WICB will levy a charge for the granting of a NOC for West Indian cricketers seeking a release to participate in Leagues outside the jurisdiction of the West Indies,” Muirhead informed Pollard in the email.
“This will be an amount equivalent to 20% of the player fee (as defined in the player contract) that is actually paid to the relevant player.”
Pollard, who signed a two-year contract with Cape Cobras last season, remains in Trinidad with South Africa’s T20 due to start on Friday.
FICA’s chairman Tony Irish says the move is unjustified since Pollard is not even a contracted WICB player and was dropped in controversial circumstances for the tri-series in Zimbabwe later this month.
“We have made it very clear to all the boards that any restrictions placed on players are likely to constitute restraint of trade and there challengeable legally,” he said.
“In the case of Kieron, he is not even contracted by the WICB. Therefore their attempt to levy 20 per cent in exchange for the NOC effectively imposes a restriction on freedom of movement.”
But in his email, Muirhead has dismissed the idea that the WICB move constitutes restraint of trade.
“While we do not wish to act in restraint of trade, we must seek a balance to ensure that there is fair and adequate compensation for the investment made in the players,” he wrote.
“What WICB seeks is some compensation to recognise the investment made into players, an investment from which another Full Member is benefitting.”
Cricinfo is reporting that the Bangladesh Cricket Board is considering the WICB proposal while it has been rejected by Cricket South Africa and there has been no response yet from the Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia.
“It is not a good situation,” said Irish.
“I will be taking it directly as a FICA issue with the WICB and making them aware of the implications.”