Cricket players boycott training over contracts

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 10, 2014
  • Kenya team players at a past World cup qualifier.

Kenya national team cricket players have been boycotting training for almost two weeks now over a fresh contractual dispute, Sportnewsarena.com has exclusively learnt.

The boycott is likely to disrupt the team’s preparation for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division two championship in Namibia next year in January.

Reliable sources at CK revealed that the board has opted to give each player a contract to sign before 15th October. Players that will not have submitted the contracts will be left out of the team.

What sparked the strike was a decision by Cricket Kenya (CK) to effect a statutory deduction of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from the player’s salary and wages under their new contracts. This has not been the practice for several years now.

The law requires that a statutory deduction on income by individuals and other bodies. All the players were due to sign the new four months contracts ahead of the January event in Namibia. Central contracts for up to seven senior players among them the current captain Rakep Patel, former captains Maurice Ouma and Collins Obuya expired last month.

But Sportnewsarena.com established that CK allegedly offered them an extension. The players rejected the gesture.

Although CK have not explained their stand to adopt a quarterly contract for the national team players, the main source of income from the International Cricket Council appears to be drying after a lukewarm performance by Kenya.

Recently, Kenya failed to qualify for the ICC World Cup set for next year in Australia and New Zealand.

Reduced funding

Kenya also missed qualifying for World Twenty20 held early this year. As a result, funding from ICC which has been used for player development was drastically reduced forcing AC to look for an alternative source of finance.

There could have been a financial windfall if Kenya qualified for the two competitions. Qualification for the ICC World Cup could have attracted USD 1 million(Ksh.89m) that would have gone into the teams’ preparation for that event on top of the USD 422,000(Ksh.37m) awarded to the national body by the ICC in April of this year as part of its Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP), aimed at raising playing standards.

Kenya would have also received USD 750,000(Ksh.66m) as the top ICC Associate and Affiliate members in base support through the ICC Development Funding Policy.

Had Kenya also made it to the World Twenty20, they would have received an additional USD 250,000.

A senior coach who sought anonymity said, he is yet to come to terms with the player’s demands.

Non qualification cost Kenya 

He explained the players knew they contributed to the current situation by not qualifying for the two events that would have ensured funding from ICC.

"Had Kenya qualified for the two events especially the World Cup, we would have been speaking a different story now.

By Kenya not qualifying mostly because of poor show by some of the players in the side we missed out on many things like funding, international matches among others things," the coach explained.

The coach added: "We have pleaded with the players to resume training and work hard and qualify and then sit on the table after qualification but it’s like none of the player is willing to hear that."

Without ICC assistance, CK Board opted to offer the players quarterly contracts hoping that things will be good soon for them financially.

CK had hoped that by giving them another new four months contracts up to January, the players would have been on pay until at the end of the ICC event in Namibia and that in case they qualify for the ICC World Cricket League Division 1, CK funding from ICC will improve and the player’s income could improve.

Sportnewsarena.com also understands that CK had increased some player’s salaries but decreased their match allowances something that didn’t go well with the players.

CK meanwhile, is believed to have pleaded with the players to resume their training programme after providing guarantee that things will change if they qualify to Division 1 but the plea fell on deaf ears.

Former national team players who are currently handling the team have been pleading with the team to continue their preparations to no avail.