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Masters Champions League marred by payment issues

Masters Champions League marred by payment issues
Tony Irish revealed only the Gemini Arabians franchise managed to clear their dues to the players.
©Chris Whiteoak

The chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) Tony Irish has expressed his concern over the delay in releasing dues to players who participated in the inaugural edition of the Masters Champions League (MCL).

The MCL Twenty20 tournament featured retired players and was held in the United Arab Emirates in January and February this year.

Irish revealed that only the Gemini Arabians franchise managed to clear their dues to the players in time and said the current situation is unacceptable given that three months have lapsed since the completion of the tournament.

"As far as we are aware only one team, the Gemini Arabians, has been paid in full and on time." Irish said.

"We understand it is a new event, however, the event finished more than three months ago, and the situation is entirely unacceptable.

"If it is possible for the Gemini Arabians to do things the right way and to honour commitments to players, we don't see why the organisers have not ensured the same has happened for all players.

"They have an obligation to do so," he added.

Stating that payment issues have become commonplace in cricket these days, Irish is pushing for  the establishment of a global body to sort out such disputes.

"The dishonouring of player contracts is an issue that the entire global game should address.

"This story is too common in cricket and there are players with outstanding amounts owed to them around the world.

"The game needs robust player contract systems that work and are respected in all countries.

"We also believe there should be fair and independent recourse and contract enforcement mechanisms for players in the event of disputes like this, such as a global arbitration body."

However, MCL owner Zafar Shah has said that only a part of the payments are pending and that dues were supposed to be cleared within 30 days of the completion of the tournament.

Shah also clarified that when FICA contacted them over a month ago, he assured them that the issue will be resolved in good time.

"The [FICA] statement says only one team has paid, but that is not entirely true," Shah told ESPNcricinfo.

"The other teams have only to make the last part of the payment which has been delayed.

"Contractually, franchises need to make the last payment within 30 days of the tournament finishing.

"We assured FICA that every player would be paid.

"More than a month ago we were in touch.

"They were asking for a commitment from my side, but how can I commit until and unless I get something concrete from the team owners."

The inaugural edition of the MCL was won by the Gemini Arabians franchise, which defeated the Leo Lions by 16 runs in the final on 13th February.

© Cricket World 2016