County cricket chiefs call for review into T20 player contracts

County chiefs call for urgent review into player contracts after globe-trotting T20 stars missed domestic matches to recover from their winter exertions

  • An increasing number of English cricketers jet around the world playing T20
  • But a gripe of their counties is that they return and miss games through injury
  • The counties must foot the bill for treatment despite their stars playing abroad 

Directors of cricket at the 18 first-class counties have called for an urgent review of the standard player contract amid proposals of globe-trotting Twenty20 players being offered six-month deals instead of 12.

It has been a beef of the group that an increasing number of English cricketers head overseas to play lucrative franchise tournaments, predominantly between October and March, and return requiring either rest or recuperation from injury at the expense of their primary employers.

‘The current arrangement leaves the clubs with little control over their players movements in the off-season, often leading to increased medical and staffing costs to ensure players are suitably prepared and rehabilitated, and there is clearly now the need for more flexibility in this area to suit both clubs and players,’ read a statement from the DOCs.

‘The number of players involved in winter tournaments has risen exponentially in the last four to five years and with the US Major League on the horizon, this is becoming a very real challenge for all involved.

Alex Hales hits out while playing for Desert Vipers in the DP World ILT20 in the UAE

The counties are annoyed that their players return from winter T20 tournaments with injuries or in need of recuperation and so miss domestic commitments

‘The group understands that the England and Wales Cricket Board, Professional Cricketers’ Association and county CEOs also recognise the need for this review, and we would welcome the opportunity to have a direct input into these discussions.’

Concerns that some of the 74 players venturing abroad last winter have missed county matches due to their extra-curricular exertions meant that the issue was at the top of the agenda when the DOCs met at the Oval on Monday.

They are also proposing a DOC representative ‘to sit on any future performance committees or other appropriate working groups,’ as English cricket begins discussions on what the game will look like between 2025-28 and how the television money from that period is filtered down through the system.

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