It has been over a month since the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Four-Day Championship was halted at the eighth round because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, The Jamaica Gleaner has been reliably informed that none of the contracted players from the region have received their match fees of US$1,600 per game since the 10-round tournament started back on January 9.
This was confirmed by CWI Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave, who sought to shed some light on the situation.
“These are difficult, unprecedented times for many people in the Caribbean,” he told The Gleaner. “Unfortunately, we are just not in the position to pay those match fees at the moment. We have apologised to players and we have thanked them for their patience, and I can assure them they will get their match fees paid as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
CWI Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave
Grave said that some of the non-contracted ‘play for pay’ players have received monies for the first three rounds of matches, while the 90 contracted players have all received their retainer fees and allowances for March as of April 6.
Grave said it was difficult to say with any degree of certainty when the players will receive the match fees, but said that remuneration was high on the list of priorities.
“Significant cash flow deficit”
Meanwhile, in an email to the players on March 27, Grave explained CWI’s financial position and its “inability to meet financial obligations as quickly as expected.”
In the email, seen by News Room, Grave stated: “For some time now, CWI has been experiencing a significant cash flow deficit because of issues stemming from operating circumstances and past decisions which have been recently identified and analyzed in a CWI Financial Review by PKF, a leading Financial consulting firm. The recommendations in the report are clear and are being addressed. The ongoing cash short-fall has too often resulted in CWI’s inability to meet financial obligations as quickly as expected, or as quickly as we would like. In some past cases we have been behind with our creditors by as much as nine months or more. Fortunately we now operate a payments policy which puts players and staff first, on our long list of payables. Although our average payment to creditors is now being made within 3 to 4 months of the transaction, we always aim to pay players on time or at the soonest possible time thereafter.”
Grave continued, “I want to assure you that we are actively pursuing collections from our debtors and sponsors alike and, in spite of a troubling COVID-19 related economic environment, we are still pursuing medium-term financing that we hope will be completed by the end of April. Unfortunately therefore, we have to wait until then to pay match fees for the West Indies Championship.” (Excerpts from The Gleaner)
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