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FICA recommends protection for players over lost contracts

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In the wake of the Euro T20 slam tournament being cancelled, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) is working with the players to see if “any potential recourse is open to them”.

Two weeks before the tournament was due to start, the organisers of the Euro T20 slam had pulled the plug citing financial problems. This left several players from Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland – including marquee picks like Rashid Khan and Eoin Morgan – out of contract and with little hope of securing the wages promised to them.

This isn’t new though. A FICA survey of almost 400 current men’s and women’s professional players conducted in 2018-19 suggests over 34% of them have experienced late payment or non-payment under a cricket contract. The Euro T20 slam was set up by the same group of people that ran the Global T20 Canada where too there were issues of players not being compensated on time.

“Some players had foregone other opportunities to commit to the league,” FICA head Tony Irish said in a press release on Monday. “And we also believe the league has an obligation to players to demonstrate some goodwill given the expectation created, especially if there is a genuine plan to go ahead with the event in the future.

“FICA had been in the process of assisting SCA (Scottish Cricketers’ Association), ICA (Irish Cricketers’ Association) and the players to put in place some basic contractual protections, in particular relating to player payments specific to the Euro T20 Slam. What has happened now simply emphasises the need for these protections.

“Separately, FICA is also aware of numerous cases of players not being paid what is owed to them under their playing contracts for other previously completed domestic T20 leagues.”

That the players themselves – many of them from Associate nations who don’t normally get jobs at IPL or BBL level – were looking forward to the competition was made clear by Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer earlier this week.

“Let’s be honest, pretty much every one of the players was going to earn more in that space of time, to what they would earn in a full year playing cricket,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “You have to look at the impact it may have on some guys and certainly there’s a couple of boys that were potentially looking to go away at some time during the winter and now they probably need to get a job. It would have created giving guys an opportunity to feel an element of security in what we try and do.”

Irish sympathised with them saying, “The players also play a critical role for the sport globally, and it’s time for enforceable protections to be put in place for players too. They should not be left to exercise leverage or litigate in various part of the world to enforce basic contractual rights, especially when they’ve delivered the value that they’ve been contracted for. Like employees in all other industries, players make life decisions based on what is owed to them.

“This is an issue that we are working in global regulations discussions with the ICC and member Boards and FICA has proposed proactive solutions to non-payment issues. We will continue to advocate for appropriate protections to form part of the game’s regulatory framework, including minimum contract standards, payment enforcement mechanisms, and a fit for purpose dispute resolution body. There is precedent for similar measures in progressive sports around the world.”



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‘As gutting a loss as I can remember’ says Peter Moores after Notts choke in semi-final

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Nottinghamshire coach Peter Moores said there was “nothing you can do” to explain his side’s semi-final defeat against Worcestershire, which saw his team score nine runs for the loss of three wickets in the final 12 balls and thus fall one short of a tie that would have been enough for them.

“It’s quite difficult to explain,” Moores said. “It’s as gutting a loss as I can remember. It’s a tough one because we got ourselves in a position where we felt we couldn’t lose and then we did.

“It looked like an easy finish and professional players often make it look very easy. But in sport you never know until you get over the line. We did a lot of things right and then – give them credit – they produced a couple of very good stops in the last two overs.”

“There is nothing you can do to explain it. That’s sport and that’s why people come and watch it.

Nottinghamshire needed six off the last over, and one off the last ball, but Ben Duckett swung-and-missed at Wayne Parnell’s length ball with wicket-keeper Ben Cox stood up to the stumps to send Worcestershire through to a second final in as many years.

“Ben’s distraught in there and you just have to take it,” said Moores. “When Dan [Christian] hit that six, it felt like that was the game. But you’re never over the line until you’re over the line.

“I haven’t said anything to the players. You can imagine what the dressing room’s like. When you lose a game at Finals Day because you looked like you were going to lose, that’s tough. When you lose a game that you never expected to lose all the way through it, that’s a big thing to take in that moment. But it’s a fair scrap and they got one more run than us.

Moores suggested that his side could use the defeat as motivation in future years.

“I can’t remember a game like that if I’m honest,” he said. “No one comes here and has a great day unless they walk away with the trophy.

“The lads put their heart and soul into the game. Our fans are very good and they’ve had some tough days to take this year. If we’d won the trophy today, we’d have had the most trophies of any side over the last ten years.

“The tough days make the good ones taste that little bit sweeter.”



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We were dead and buried, admits Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman after crazy semi-final

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Worcestershire’s head coach Alex Gidman admitted he thought his side were dead and buried in their T20 Blast semi-final against Notts with two overs to go, and paid tribute to his side’s precision with the ball and in the field.

Notts were 137 for 2 chasing 148 to win with two overs remaining, and would have gone through with a tie having lost fewer wickets. But Pat Brown and Wayne Parnell both bowled brilliant overs at the death to claw things back, and after Ben Duckett swung-and-missed at the final ball, Ben Cox whipped off the bails to seal a one-run victory.

“I probably did [think we’d lost it],” said Gidman. “The 18th over [which went for 15 runs] was a big one. We had a good chance before then, but the 18th went for a few. That happens. Ross took one of theirs for quite a few at the end as well, so it’s probably unrealistic to think it’s all going to go swimmingly well.

“You think about just trying to hang in the game for as long as possible, which is something we’ve talked about doing. It’s something that Mo [captain Moeen Ali] talks about with the group all the time, and those last couple of overs got a little bit messy but we managed to pull it back.”

Worcestershire became the first side in the competition this season not to concede an extra in an innings, and Gidman paid tribute to his side’s miserly qualities.

“It sounds really daft, but we just try and do the basics as well as possible,” he said. “Again, Mo talked about that at the beginning of the day – just doing the basics as well as we can – and that was certainly one area that we should be proud of.”

Worcestershire were involved in a similarly remarkable come-from-behind win at Chester-le-Street during the competition’s group stage, and Gidman said that the semi-final had topped that drama.

“We had one game at Durham a couple of months ago which was equally bizarre,” he said. “It was an amazing effort, amazing game of cricket. There’s so many ways that T20 entertains us, but that last couple of overs was pretty special from ourselves, and to stay in the game for as long as possible.

“That was right up there. I think that probably did top the Durham game.”

Moeen suggested that he had initially misread the pitch, but said that he expected runs to come more easily in the powerplay through the day.

“I came off saying it was a 180 wicket,” he told Sky, “so that shows how much I know. Obviously I had a good start, and I think throughout Finals Day if you go at ten an over in the first six, it doesn’t really matter, you can drag it back.

“It wasn’t easy to score. I thought [Alex] Hales played fantastically well and he was a big wicket for us – it was nice to get him out, actually.”



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Recent Match Report – Western Australia vs Victoria, Australian Domestic One-Day Competition, 1st Match

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Western Australia 8 for 386 (Stoinis 101*, Bancroft 78, Philippe 61, Turner 52) beat Victoria 261 (Maddinson 87, Maxwell 51, Agar 3-54) by 125 runs

Marcus Stoinis hammered a 58-ball century as Western Australia – including nine internationals – launched their Marsh One-Day Cup campaign in emphatic style with a 125-run victory over defending champions Victoria.

Stoinis, who had a poor World Cup, reached his hundred with his seventh six off the last ball of the innings to end a brutal late surge which brought 102 runs from the last five overs of the innings to lift Western Australia to a monstrous 8 for 386.

Victoria briefly looked as though they could threaten as Glenn Maxwell hit a 30-ball half-century but in the end fell well short despite Nic Maddinson‘s forceful 87.

There had been impressive contributions throughout Western Australia’s innings which was launched by Josh Philippe‘s 61 off 43 balls and was supplement by Ashton Turner‘s 45-ball half-century and Cameron Bancroft‘s compact 78.

However, it was Stoinis who stole the show as he moved from 52 to 101 in 13 balls. He struck four sixes in five balls in the 48th over from Scott Boland that went for 28 runs and when Ashton Agar stuck two himself off Jon Holland six out of eight deliveries had gone for six.

Stoinis was on 91 when he got the strike back for the penultimate ball of the innings which he upper cut to third man then, after Will Sutherland delivered two wides, he launched the last ball over long-on. In turn, that brought up Sutherland’s hundred.

It was a perfectly constructed innings from Western Australia after they had been given the early impetus from the hugely talented Philippe who could come into the reckoning for Australia honours this season. He reached fifty from 32 balls before pulling Boland into his stumps then after Shaun Marsh was run out coming back for a second – a borderline decision – Bancroft and Turner formed a fourth-wicket stand of 96 in 14 overs.

Turner, returning from shoulder surgery, brought urgency to the partnership before picking out midwicket then Bancroft opened his shoulders with consecutive sixes off Maddinson. When Bancroft fell it was 5 for 254 after 41 overs before Stoinis took over.

Aaron Finch briefly took up where Stoinis left off as he reached to 33 off 15 balls which included taking Jhye Richardson‘s first over in professional cricket since late March for 17. However, Richardson struck back when Finch miscued a short ball to mid-on in what became an interesting evening for the quick.

In an occasionally heated contest with Maxwell he saw the batsman dropped and was then taken for three leg-side sixes which led to a few words. After two spells, Richardson had figures of 5-0-64-1.

Maxwell and Maddinson added 94 in 11 overs before Maxwell picked out long-on against Agar. Maddinson missed out on the chance for a hundred when he sliced to backward point.



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