The cash-strapped Cricket West Indies (CWI) will deliver their squad an overall maximum bonus of US$28,500 if they can retain the Wisden Trophy won 18 months ago in the Caribbean.
The touring Windies, who defeated England by four wickets in last week’s opening behind closed doors Test, only have to avoid defeat in the 2nd and 3rd Test matches at Lancashire’s Old Trafford (16-20 July & 24-28 July respectively) to pick up the prize money.
If Jason Holder’s side are successful, then half of their win bonus will be shared by their 15-player squad with the rest divided between those who competed on the pitch, and the skipper must have been delighted after his team edged a thrilling victory in the final session of the five-day contest.
In contrast England, whose fielding was a flop at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl in Southampton last week, will earn a remarkable 17 times as the Windies should they turn things around and win the next two Tests to snatch the Wisden Trophy from the tourists.
The CWI in May announced halving salaries for all employees due to the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which many believe deterred a handful of those called up for international duty decided not to tour England. A regular Test match fee of around US$8,000 each for the tourists is about 50% of the monies that England players pocket. The CWI had little choice but to safeguard their staff’s role that includes administrators, ground staff and officials as well as the playing contingent.
CWI commit 26% of their revenue to paying their international and franchise players but, without a lucrative television deal in place, are struggling the same kind of remuneration as England and other nations. They are currently sponsored by Sandals, owned by Jamaican entrepreneur Butch Stewart, for their seven-week Sandals Tour of England 2020.
Yet CWI’s finances have been in free-fall fro sometime, they had to borrow US$2m from Bangladesh to fund the 2018 series between the two sides in the Caribbean. And more recently were loaned US$3m by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to assist with their dire cash flow.
The ECB had been in secret talks with Lancashire CCC and British government officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to discuss proposals for a limited number of spectators for the 3rd and final test at Old Trafford towards the end of the month. However, the ambitious plan has been scrapped meaning that whoever is crowned the Wisden Trophy champions will have to celebrate in eerie silence.
WISDEN TROPHY TEST SCHEDULE
1st Test – West Indies won by four wickets
Ageas Bowl, Southampton
2nd Test – Old Trafford, Manchester
3rd Test – Old Trafford, Manchester
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