Muirhead: No victimisation in levy

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Michael Muirhead has sought to debunk claims of victimisation against some senior players through the enforcement of a 20 per cent levy on contract fees for those taking part in a number of T20 tournaments overseas.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Wednesday, Muirhead labelled the accusation as “unfortunate.”

“It could have been any player, any one of the 18 players. It was not focused on any one player. We gave a number of players NOCs to the Bangladesh league and there was no uproar, nothing, because Bangladesh agreed to pay a 10 per cent. So we issued all those NOCs without any fanfare,” he said.

“The next league would have been the Ram Slam in South Africa……….so it was timing more than anything else,” he added. The initiative, Muirhead said, has been on the books for some two years and ought not to be treated like one introduced overnight.

“This has been in the making for over two years, where we have been talking and going back and forth, and it seems as if many of them didn’t take it very seriously so it wasn’t getting any traction. And now that we have acted, everybody is ready to have serious discussions on this. I would hope that by the next IDC meeting in February, we would have some kind of resolution as to where we are going to go,” he said.

The CEO, who leaves the job at the end of the year, lamented the position taken by the West Players’ Association (WIPA) on the issue, adding that the WICB will sit and discuss the matter at length with the organisation.

“I saw a release from WIPA which I am not interpreting very well. They seem to be under an impression that we were charging or levying this on the player, but it is not the player. They are very opposed to that, and it’s fine [because] they are very opposed to any payment being demanded from the player in order to receive an NOC,” Muirhead said.

“They are very sympathetic to the views about the amount of money we put into the development of the players, and then they have no allegiance to the WICB and to West Indies cricket to give us some kind of reward or return down the road,” he added.

The WICB, on Tuesday, defended its decision to impose the levy, adding that revenue raised will be used to aid the development of players in the territories. (windiescricket)

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