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By Neto Baptiste

Cricket West Indies (CWI) contracted players, staff and other contracted employees, as of February 1, will no longer have their wages and salaries slashed by 50 percent.

This is according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Johnny Grave, who said CWI staff should return to full pay next month after the body announced in May last year that they would temporarily slash salaries and funding across the entire regional cricket system by 50 percent starting July 2020. The decision was made in an effort to deal with the “debilitating” impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which left the board facing a major loss of income in the absence of regular cricketing activities.

“We’re expecting that to be lifted this week, so hopefully by the end of this week, we will be confirming to all the players and retained umpires, all of our staff and contractors that from the first [of February] everyone can go back onto to full pay, and we will extend players and umpires contracts till June 30th and those will be on full pay so that’s the intention,” he said. 

The measures enforced by CWI also included a 50 percent cut in funding for territorial boards, territorial boards’ franchises and the West Indies Players’ Association, as well as a 50 percent reduction in all retainers and allowances for directors and executive management.

Grave said CWI is on the verge of making “major announcements” regarding new partners and initiatives geared towards improving their financial situation going forward.

“We are very close to making some major announcements of probably about half of the TV deals we need to secure across the world and some of those in the absolute key markets which is great news for us, and a testament as to how West Indies is viewed by cricket fans all around the world. We still have some work to do in some other markets including the Caribbean. Hopefully, with some more cricket coming online with the Super50 Cup and the Sri Lanka tour, we hope to be able to close out as many deals for a long-term period as we possibly can,” he said.

In April last year, a severe cash crunch faced by CWI resulted in delayed payment of match fees to international and domestic players from earlier this calendar year.