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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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Sheffield Shield round-up: Great catching puts NSW in control

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A round-up from the second day of the latest Sheffield Shield matches



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CWI suspends Test opener John Campbell for illegal bowling action

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Cricket West Indies has suspended Jamiaca offspinners John Campbell (a part-time bowler who opened the batting for West Indies in all three formats last year) and Pete Salmon from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect, for illegal bowling actions. CWI confirmed that opinion reports from independent assessors at Loughborough University found that the actions of the two bowlers exceeded the permissible limit of 15 degrees.

Campbell and Salmon will remain suspended until their actions are found legal either by an opinion report from Loughborough University or by an independent analysis from an accredited testing centre, in accordance with the board’s regulations for dealing with suspect bowling actions.

The duo will undergo remedial work supervised by Jamaica and they can apply for a reassessment after modifying their actions.

Cambell was reported for a suspect bowling action during the first round match against Trinidad & Tobago early last month. He took figures of 1 from 54 in his 19 overs in the match.

Salmon’s action was reported on his first-class debut, the fourth-round match between Jamaica and Guyana earlier this month in Guyana. Salmon’s figures were very impressive: he finished with a match haul of 8 for 110, which won him the Player-of-the-Match award in his team’s narrow win of seven runs.



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Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Only Test 2020

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Lunch Zimbabwe 114 for 5 (Raza 33*, Nayeem 3-44) and 265 trail Bangladesh 560 for 6 dec (Rahim 203*, Mominul 132) by 181 runs

Bangladesh’s march to victory continued with a couple of vital wickets on the fourth morning in Mirpur. It was the spinners that struck first, with Taijul Islam opening a route into the middle order with a wicket in the sixth over of the morning before Nayeem Hasan struck the big blow, removing Brendan Taylor in his first over of the day. After a brief rally, the run-out of Craig Ervine further sunk Zimbabwe and they went to lunch at 114 for 5, still 181 runs shy of making Bangladesh bat again.

With men crowding the bat and pressure from the off, Islam didn’t take long to get the better of Kevin Kasuza. Coming around the stumps, and making liberal use of the arm ball, he suckered the right-hand batsman into playing inside an orthodox delivery that gripped on the surface, taking the shoulder of the bat and landing in the lap of Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Taylor appeared much more at ease against the left-arm spinner, stepping out to loft him cleanly over the long-off boundary, but it was similar positivity that got him into trouble against Nayeem. Taylor missed a reverse sweep to the offspinner’s second delivery of the day, and then perished attempting an aggressive regulation sweep shortly afterwards. Aiming for the midwicket boundary, Taylor instead watched in dismay as a looping top-edge was easily caught by Islam, running in from deep backward square.

Despite the dismissals, the Zimbabwe batsmen kept playing their shots. Sikandar Raza whipped Nayeem through square leg with a one-handed sweep early in his innings, while Ervine was even more proactive. Having cruised into the 20s with a pair of boundaries on either side of the pitch in Nayeem’s third over of the morning, he stepped out to hit the same bowler over long-on and repeatedly demonstrated that he wasn’t afraid to use his feet to the slower bowlers.

At the other end, Raza paddled Islam to the fine-leg boundary, and then raised the fifty stand by powering him well over long-on for his first six, the runs having flowed at close to five an over. Ervine, meanwhile, was into the 40s at virtually a run a ball but Nayeem kept probing, and might have removed Zimbabwe’s captain had Liton Das been able to complete a stumping opportunity 15 minutes before the lunch interval. Drawn out of his crease, Ervine was beaten by the turn and bounce, but so was Das, the ball rearing up to hit him on the shoulder.

The error wasn’t a costly one. Moments before lunch, Raza tapped Islam towards point and the batting pair chanced a quick single. But Mominul Haque was onto the ball in a flash, hurling in a direct hit to catch Ervine short of his ground: the first time Ervine has been run out in this format.

With a light drizzle starting to fall, Raza survived until lunch alongside Timycen Maruma, but three wickets in the session significantly advanced Bangladesh’s cause.



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