Five Trinidad Players Threatened to Boycott T20 Champions League

Port-Of-Spain (Trinidad), Oct 5 (IANS/CMC): A crisis appears to have been averted between the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (T&TCB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) making sure that 15 players selected for the Champions League will be turn out when the tournament starts Oct 10 in South Africa.

It is alleged that the five players who are currently in Sri Lanka representing the West Indies at the World Cup had asked WIPA to demand more money on their behalf for the trip.

The players are Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, skipper Denesh Ramdin and leg-spinner Samuel Badree.

The players demanded that the T&TCB give them a share of the transfer fee they got for Indian Premier League (IPL) players Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard. The TTCB got $150,000 for each of the three players.

The board refused the players demand and they were replaced.

But chairman of the selection panel Dudnath Ramkessoon said the situation is now under control and the five players in Sri Lanka will be joining the squad in South Africa in time for the tournament.

"The players have agreed to go to South Africa if negotiations between the board and WIPA continues" said Ramkessoon

"As a result, we are going to get the original 15-man squad across in South Africa playing for us."

The T&T Cricket Board said each player on the 15-man squad is guaranteed a payment of more than US $20,000 for the two qualifying matches slated for Oct 10 and 11 in Johannesburg.

Should the team advance to the main draw of the competition, the T&TCB is guaranteed an additional $200,000, before taxes.

And the T&TCB has informed the squad, comprising 15 players, five technical staff and three administrators that 75 percent of the monies and any other prize money won by the team will be shared among them.

In South Africa, the T&T team will wear a kit outfitted with the logo of National Gas Company of T&T for which the players will receive more than half of the negotiated sponsorship.

The sponsorship input, plus 75 percent of the participation fee which the T&TCB will collect make up the more than $20,000 payment to each player on the squad, the T&TCB said.

"We are thankful that the players are going and we now have a job on our hands to get the players re-focused on the task ahead" said team manager Omar Khan, who left with 10 of the locally-based players Thursday evening.

"They have to put the off field problems behind them and go out there and do their best. They have to remember that they are representing not only their country but the entire Caribbean at the Champions League," he said.


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