Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ireland’s players get revised central contracts with pay raise

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Ireland’s players have secured a pay raise after Cricket Ireland (CI) and the Irish Cricketers’ Association (ICA) reached an agreement on the terms of central contracts following a stand-off.

The Irish Times had reported last week that Ireland’s players had rejected an offer from the board, and that they ran the risk of playing June’s T20 World Cup on contracts which initially expired at the end of February. The terms of those contracts effectively rolled over indefinitely, meaning players were still being paid their retainers.

But CI and the ICA announced in a joint statement on Thursday evening that they have agreed terms, and that they are now in the process of finalising the inaugural Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties.

“Revised contracts will be issued immediately, and will apply until the end of February 2025,” the statement said.

Warren Deutrom, CI’s chief executive, confirmed that players have secured a pay raise. “From the inception of player payments, the Cricket Ireland board has always prioritised our senior men’s and women’s players to reward them for their huge part in driving forward the sport in Ireland,” he said.

“The players have received the biggest share of the new money in Irish cricket this year. That is as it should be. I believe we have done our best to reward players for their hard work and success without forgetting our duty to fund the rest of the sport – particularly at grassroots, club and provincial level – to ensure we can produce future internationals as well.”

Deutrom said that relations between CI and the ICA were strong despite the delay in the process. “These negotiations have taken time to finalise due to the later-than-planned sign-off of our budget, and the complexity of the new model for player contracts,” he said. “However, at all times, we have been working very positively with the ICA to ensure we reached an agreement that works for all.”

Former Ireland batter Cecelia Joyce, who is now the ICA president, said: “Our members have been unified throughout this whole process, and the outcome is a significant one for all professional players in Ireland, and [for] the game. It ensures greater transparency and clarity with respect to the players’ share of revenue, and on contracting structures for the next period.”

CI has not yet announced a list of contracted players for the 2024-25 season, but said: “Further details about the MoU and contracts will be published in due course.”

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