Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Irish cricketers reject central contract offers ahead of Ireland vs Pakistan series

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Until a new agreement is reached, players will remain on their 2023 terms.

Ireland vs Pakistan: Irish cricketers are gearing up for a crucial home series against Pakistan, but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over their preparations as they have rejected the latest central contract offers from Cricket Ireland. This decision comes just days before the first T20 match kicks off at Clontarf on Friday.

Financial disagreement delays agreement

The crux of the issue lies in a disagreement over pay as per the Irish Times. Discussions regarding increased salaries began late last year after Cricket Ireland received a funding boost from the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Irish Cricketers’ Association (ICA), representing the players, has been negotiating on their behalf.

However, a delay in finalizing the exact amount of ICC funding (not confirmed until March) and unforeseen increases in costs (such as hosting South Africa in the UAE) resulted in a revised budget for 2024. This, in turn, delayed both fixture announcements and contract negotiations.

Ireland Team playing with expired contracts

While contracts for 2024 remain unsigned, players have continued to train and play under the terms of their expired 2023 contracts. This demonstrates their commitment to maintaining the scheduled fixtures and availing themselves of essential benefits like injury cover.

Negotiations Continue

The recent contract offer was rejected by the men’s team, and negotiations are ongoing. Until a new agreement is reached, players will remain on their 2023 terms. Any eventual increase in salary will be backdated to March 1st, the intended start date for 2024 contracts.

Focus on Ireland vs Pakistan

Despite the contract negotiations, the focus remains on the upcoming fixtures. Following the T20 series against Pakistan, Ireland heads to the Netherlands for a tri-series before embarking on their T20 World Cup campaign in the USA.

More on PAK vs IRE:

Ireland Women’s Cricket awaits Contract News

The Irish women’s team, having recently concluded their T20 World Cup qualifying campaign, is yet to make a decision on their contract offers. Their focus was understandably on securing qualification. They will return to action in August with a home series against Sri Lanka.

The future of a provisional series against the Netherlands remains uncertain as their T20 World Cup qualification attempt was unsuccessful.

Both Cricket Ireland and the ICA declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations.

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