Former Windies captain, Darren Sammy, while grateful to Cricket West Indies for offering an amnesty on its selection protocol to allow T20 stars to play, believes it will do little good if the players are not paid better.
CWI, which relaxed its policies on allowing players who did not play in its regional 50-over competition to be available for selection to the Caribbean side, needs to go a step further, says Sammy, after the rules only brought back Chris Gayle.
“That’s the problem,” Sammy said. “When it all started with the past CEO [Michael Muirhead] and (former) director of cricket Richard Pybus, he said ‘West-Indies-first policy’. But you say West Indies first, but the first thing you do you cut the salaries. That doesn’t work.
“You telling guys ‘don’t go and play elsewhere [where] they pay much better, stay at home,’ but the first thing you’re doing is you cut the salaries playing at home.”
According to Sammy, a hybrid contract for Windies players would help to bridge the gap between the T20 stars and Cricket West Indies.
“I think if you tell guys you have two or three tournaments a year where you get to choose. We give you a white-ball contract or your red-ball contracts, well the retainer contracts. You come back you play home (domestic cricket). If IPL is playing, those who have the contract to play in IPL you go and play. Those not in the IPL you stay home and play.
“Then you have the Pakistan Super League, where the lesser guys tend to filter into that league. So you say ‘okay, you play here, those not playing in that league you have to return.’ And you make the retainer contract something attractive.”
Sammy did not go into how improved contracts from the Cricket West Indies would be paid for but did point out that the issue of salary is what caused he and the board to fall out.