Kiwi cricketers unhappy with Champions League organisers

New Zealand Cricket Players' Association chief Heath Mills described the situation as "disgraceful" and said the delay in the payment would discourage players to participate in future tournaments.

According to Sunday Star-Times, the players of the Central Districts were paid the participation fee but the prize money, close to USD 200,000, is still being withheld by the organisers.

"It's not acceptable when people complete a job and honour all their obligations under a contract to the person they are working for, yet they aren't compensated for completing that work," Mills told the newspaper.

"That wouldn't be accepted in any other workplace environment. Players now don't have a lot of faith or confidence in the boards running this event given their treatment of players so I expect there will be quite a few questions before guys want to commit to something this year."

Champions League is a joint venture of the cricket boards of India, Australia and South Africa and this year's edition is scheduled for October.

"We hear a lot of excuses around government processes in India and the like but that doesn't seem to impact on similar payments from other events like the recent world cup where all payments were made on time.

"I would be interested to see if the same delays have been encountered by the three boards that own the event when they distribute their profits to each other," Mills added.

New Zealand Cricket chief Justin Vaughan feels it is not something unexpected but said the current scenario doesn't look good at all.

"We've struck this in the past with sponsorship payments so it's not unexpected in a way. That said, it is dragging on too long and it's very hard to argue when the distribution of funds is being held up by a government process."

FICA chief Tim May also supported Mills' views and said players would be advised not to participate in this year's Champions League without some assurances regarding their payment.

May also claimed that Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa had to pay from their own pockets to their players.

New Zealand Cricket also blamed Indian bureaucracy for the delay in payment. The amount is estimated to be around USD one million, according to sources.

Though Vaughan was not too keen to comment on the amount, he conceded that Dheeraj and East Coast LLC was behind in its payments schedule.

"India is great for bureaucracy and I think we've been a casualty here in much the same way as the Champions League T20 prize money," he said.

"They are behind. But having said that, we've had a really good relationship with DEC and we have got every confidence that they are working as hard as possible from their end," he added.


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