The T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) averted a crisis and this country will have the original 15 players selected for the Champions League, on board when the tournament bowls off on October 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 in Sri Lanka had asked 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. 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 Keiron Pollard.
The TTCB got US$150,000 for each of the three players. The board refused and five replacement players were selected. Yesterday, 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.
According to Ramkessoon: “The players have agreed to go to South Africa if negotiations between the board and WIPA continues. As a result, we have are going to get the original 15-man squad across in South Africa playing for us.”
Manager of the team Omar Khan who left with ten of the locally-based players yesterday evening said: “We are thankful that the players are going and we now have a job on our hands to get the players re-focussed on the task ahead. 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 and they have to do job before them.”
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 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 per cent 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 per cent 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.