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Money talks!


There has been a big hullaballoo over the past week, after West Indian cricketers, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard opted not to accept the retainer contract offered to them by the West Indies Cricket Board.{{more}}

Sentiments have been expressed about the players’ commitment, loyalty and interest in the game, as true representatives of the West Indian population.

It was another case of the players showing that maybe all they are interested in is making a few dollars.

In fact, what the players are saying to us is “Money talks, everything else walks.”

Should we really burst a vein about players who go smiling to the bank regularly, and who before every tour are engaged in wrangling over payment and contracts?

But whilst I agree that the players are free moral agents and are entitled to their choices, there is a sense of ingratitude on their part. This is an ingredient that has become part and parcel of West Indies Cricket for the past decade.

Yes, in every profession, there is a life after the tools are hung up, and in the case of Cricket, when their playing days are over.

Yes, everyone must secure his or her future, when he or she can no longer work.

So, the players, therefore, grab at the money, but it should not be the principal consideration, especially from they who have lots of it, despite their mediocre performance on the field.

The contracts which Gayle, Pollard and Bravo refused to sign were worth around US$120,000, and required the players to make themselves available for West Indies at all times.

Indeed, it pales in comparison to what they can earn from being freelance cricketers.

Pollard, for example, had already shown a reluctance to do so when, in June, he turned down a place on the West Indies A-team tour to England in favour of his deal with Somerset for the Friends Provident T/20.

These players seem to forget that it was the same territorial boards, and subsequently, West Indies Cricket Board that organized the various regional competitions that put them on the international stage, in order for them to become big money earners and money changers.

In the case of Mr. Gayle, the West Indies captain, he missed the regional first-class tournament earlier this year because of a professional contract in Australia.

Gayle’s list of transgressions is endless, and this final one shows his lack of dedication to West Indies Cricket.

What is most injurious to the latest developments is that Gayle and Bravo are key players in all three forms of Cricket in which the regional side competes on the international scene.

So one can easily summise that West Indies Cricket and its resurgence are secondary to these players’ mind set.

In addition, the duo of Gayle and Bravo are shot callers on the antagonistic West Indies Players Association (WIPA), a body, which at times, resisted the Central Contract System.

Ironically, when the doors were being closed on regional players in the English Counties and before there were the many foreign options, like the IPL and the Australian Big Bash, many were clamouring to keep the players in the Caribbean and pay them.

Now we get it, they are saying thanks, but no thanks.

But the players can also have a free reign to act accordingly, as their employers, the WICB, has been a reactive bunch, and is always behind the eight ball in many instances.

It was the regional board’s Vice President Dave Cameroon who last week at a symposium in Trinidad and Tobago revealed that his organization was not financially sound; hence the players should, understand that.

So all around the money really talks and nothing else.

The same cannot be said for the presence of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.