Windies captain Jason Holder has raised his concern regarding the players' recent diaspora of opting for Kolpak deal by calling out both ICC and The Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA). The 27-year-old has proposed a "substantial minimum salary" to be set by the respective international boards to avoid the players quitting their international careers in favour of lucrative franchise deals.
Randy Brooks / AFP
Holder's comments have come just days after Duanne Olivier decided to sign the Kolpak Deal with Yorkshire. The South African pacer, who has played just 10 Tests and 2 ODIs with Proteas, took "possibly the most difficult decision" on February 26th and became the latest Backpacker by joining other South African cricketers on their quest.
Apart from South Africa, West Indies too have been facing issues with the unavailability of players due to the overlapping of domestic cricket's schedule to that of international tours.
Speaking against it, Holder raised his concern by saying that he held talks with ICC and FICA, and mentioned that if players continue preferring the domestic league, the quality of international cricket will hamper.
"It's really sad to see another quality player lost to Kolpak cricket," Holder said. "Until something is properly done to keep players a little bit more grounded financially I don't know how much longer you can continue putting up the front.
"I just think, going forward, we need to find a way to keep players playing for their country so we can have an attractive product.
"Probably the ICC and FICA needs to get together and institute a substantial minimum salary so that players will feel comfortable coming home to represent their country.
"Test cricket is something that has picked up in the last year and a half. West Indies beating England; Sri Lanka beating South Africa: these are similar things. These can continue to spark Test cricket. There's so much prestige behind it and so much I can only hope we can find some common ground where players are properly compensated and encouraged to play Test cricket as opposed to running off to domestic leagues.
"Personally I have had a few conversations with people at FICA. They are doing a hell of a job trying to get a level playing field for everyone and trying to have a fair standard for players and for leagues to be able to attract players. I Don't want to speak of a figure at this time but I've had discussions with people at FICA and we are trying to find solutions to these problems.
"It's just ongoing discussions. I don't know if we'll find a middle ground as soon as we like. Hopefully in the not too distant future we can find common ground where players are playing for their countries and also have time to play In domestic leagues."
As many as 14 Kolpak registrations were made in 2018 which includes Olivier's South African compatriots Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw.