Cricket in this part of the world is always studded with drama on and off the field, and with just mere hours for the T&T players to board their British Airways flight to South Africa comes news that some of the senior players have decided to pull out over a money dispute with the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB). The national team was due to leave these shores at 5 pm this afternoon bound for South Africa via London. However, it is alleged that the five players who are currently in Sri Lanka representing the West Indies at the World Cup in Sri Lanka have asked the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to make representation on their behalf for more money to make the trip. The five men in question are Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, skipper Denesh Ramdin and leg-spinner Samuel Badree. According to a source close to the situation: "The players are demanding that the TTCB give them a share of the transfer fee they got for IPL players Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard."
The TTCB got US$150,000 for each of the three players. The board has stoutly refused the demand and the executive summoned the chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon to get his panel to select five replacement players. The replacement players chosen are Justin Guillen, Mervyn Dillon, former skipper Daren Ganga, spinner Dave Mohammed and wicketkeeper Stephen Katwaroo. According to the source, the other 10 local players selected have agreed to make the trip but they were locked in a meeting with WIPA last night. The T&T Cricket Board announced yesterday that each player on the 15-man squad is guaranteed a payment of more than US$20,000 for the two qualifying matches carded for October 10 and 11 in Johannesburg. Should the team advance to the main draw of the competition, the T&TCB is guaranteed an additional US$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 proudly 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 US$20,000 payment to each player on the squad, the T&TCB said. A T&TCB official said yesterday that the cricketers stand to benefit from approximately 66 percent of the total income which will accrue from T&T's participation in the 2012 Champions League T20 while the technical staff and the T&TCB will share the remaining 34 per cent. It is understood that the T&TCB has already started planning to utilise its part of the proceeds to refurbish the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre and the Alloy Lequay Administrative Building which were both constructed over ten years ago. The T&TCB reportedly is also considering sharing part of the income gained with each club which took part in the board's 2012 competitions to ensure that the successes at the elite level by the national cricketers could effectively benefit the game at club and community level.
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