Bangladesh Test and T20I captain Shakib al Hasan has urged for proper wage structure, along with the provision of more long-term national central contracts in order to entice more players to commit to international cricket.
The all-rounder made the wish in his first meeting of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee at Sydney Cricket Ground Tuesday.
The MCC committee alongside many other key agendas of world cricket discussed on the room for improvement in the financial structure to sustain longer-version cricket that is currently endangered by the craze over the shortest format of the game – T20s.
Shakib, the first player from Bangladesh to sit on the group, addressed the WCC by airing his views on a range of issues affecting the modern player. Shakib’s experiences contrasted with those of England’s Jonny Bairstow, who spoke to the committee at the July 2017 meeting, and highlighted that the choices facing a modern professional vary greatly from country to country.
The Bangladesh cricketer while putting his thoughts on the issue described that his greatest honour is representing the country. But at the same time, Shakib also highlighted the financial incentives in Test cricket varies from country to country and that it does not match those available in global domestic T20 tournaments.
Shakib in his speech in the meeting cited concern of many young players, who might not share his view of wishing to play Test cricket for a long period and prefer the shorter format of the game, which is more readily available and offers more financial security compared to playing longer-form cricket.
Shakib’s thought was backed by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting who said, “He (Shakib) has highlighted many issues and incidents in Bangladesh cricket. He has also emphasised on ICC controlling the funds provided to the boards. He believes majority of the fund is going in the right place but not to the players as it should be.
“We want to see ICC being involved with the players being properly paid. It should be understood that remuneration structure in the global T20 tournaments are making it easy for the cricketers not to choose representing the country. One cannot blame the players for giving importance in playing such tournaments.”
The key outcomes from the meeting are as follows - Test Championship key to help safeguard the future of Test cricket, BCCI strongly urged to support cricket in the Olympics, player associations should become more involved in reporting of corruption, women's cricket must seize momentum following successful World Cup, better educational materials needed to highlight dangers of concussion, World Test Championship requires standardisation of DRS technology, MCC to review overseas tours strategy to maximise support for developing nations, suspending play in extreme heat is within the laws and rewarding players properly for better future of Test cricket.
Alongside Shakib and Ponting, the MCC meeting was attended by Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, former England batsman Mike Gatting, John Stephenson, New Zealand women’s team member Suzie Bates and umpire Kumar Dharmasena. Gatting chaired the meeting for the first time.
The next meeting of the MCC’s WCC will take place at Lord's in August this year.