National team players boycott training again over contracts

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
May 19, 2021
  • National team players at a past match at Ruaraka Sports Club.(Photo:SNA File)

The national cricket team players have kept off training for a week now over a fresh contractual dispute that is threatening to disrupt preparations for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The players are now demanding improved terms and longer contracts from Cricket Kenya (CK).

CK was due to give out new contracts to the players this month but the players turned then down citing ‘unfavorable’ offers.

But it's not all about the salaries’ as the players’ demands are reportedly shifting with every counter offer from the board. Initially the players were against the taxation of their match fees arguing that this was not part of their salary.

CK however maintained that these were all part of the monies that the association must account for to the Kenya Revenue Authority when submitting their deductions.

The players reluctantly agreed but on condition that the board increases their match fee.

CK had proposed to pay the players allowances on win/ loss merit but the players reverted for the flat rate that had been in place, Before the players were reportedly receiving a flat rate of between Ksh.6, 000 to Ksh.8,000 depending on the level of the match they were playing.

CK had wanted to pay the players between Ksh.3000 to 4,000 for a loss and Ksh.5, 000 to Ksh.8000 for a win and up to 12000 for one day International matches win.

Increase match fees

“Our argument is that we need better match fees. Our salaries are inadequate and only cover basics. So without match fees it means we have been playing for nothing. We are really struggling and that is why we are calling for better match fees,” said a senior player couldn’t be named for fear of victimization.

Sportnewarena.com could not establish whether the players and the board agreed on the flat rate for the match fee but when the contracts for most of the players ended in April they refused to sign the new three-month performance contract insisting on one-year contracts.

According to a person briefed on the matter CK was to give the players the three months contracts and extend it after the forthcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

CK could be banking on qualification for the World Cup, which would see the ICC increase its disbursement that could in turn be used to pay the players’ wages.

"CK can’t afford to give the players a one year contract. Whatever they are offering is what they can afford. They are trying to make the players work hard and qualify for the T20 World Cup and after that they can sit and demand a better term," the source said.

Last October, the players’ boycotted training for close to a month when CK demanded that their salaries must be taxed.