Jason Holder joins in the call to fight England and Kolpak

By March 02, 2019
Jason Holder Jason Holder

Windies skipper Jason Holder is again at odds with English cricket and the way it’s structure, which allows players to take lucrative deals under what is known as a Kolpak deal is achieved.

Kolpak deals come at the cost of a player’s international cricket career, with the most recent example being Duanne Olivier, a South African who earned his ODI debut last year.

Olivier shocked South Africa when he announced his retirement from International duty in favour of a three-year deal with Yorkshire.

The move prompted former South Africa batsman, Albie Morkel, who joined Surrey after ending his international career, to voice his hope that Cricket South Africa (CSA) does something to stop any possible ‘drain’ on the country’s major cricket resources, it’s talent.

"They [CSA] have to sit down and come up with plans because they're going to lose a lot of players in the near future and they need to protect against that.

"Do you structure the contracting a little bit better? What security do you give the guys [for] life after cricket? You talk about investing, but once a guy retires, they sort of drift away. I can name a number of players who they have invested a lot of money in, but you don't see them coaching, you don't see them involved with our academies.

"Give those guys a platform and say, 'We've invested in you for so many years, when you're thinking of settling down or moving on, this is where we see a role for you'.

"I think that communication is not great at the moment so that's something they can improve on.

"I was settled in the team so, for me, it was easier to put offers aside and focus on playing with South Africa.

"It's harder for those guys who are in and out of the team. If the communication channels aren't great and you're not sure where you fit in, that's where the biggest challenge comes in. Communication is the key in any business.

"It's never nice…it always paints a bad picture of cricket in South Africa. But that's unfortunately part of our DNA and the struggles we have in South Africa."

Oliver’s move came just two years after Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw signed deals with Hampshire.

Holder has gone one step further than his South African counterpart, the Windies captain looking toward the International Cricket Council to protect other nations from the possibility of losing all their talent to the English game.

"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,” said Holder.

"People still want to see international cricket being at the forefront. 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,” said the Windies Captain, who oversaw a drawn ODI series against England on Saturday.

"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,” he said.

"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 significant things. These can continue to spark Test cricket. There's so much prestige behind it and so much work behind it. 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."

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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