West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has been denied a no-objection certificate by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), which means he will not be able to compete in the upcoming Ram Slam, a Twenty20 league organised by Cricket South Africa.
This move has come after the WICB decided on levying a 20% contract fee on any Caribbean player wishing to play in a T20 tournament held outside the country. The all-rounder, who signed a two-year contract with the South African side Cape Cobras, was informed of the board's decision by chief executive officer Michael Muirhead.
Muirhead confirmed that the decision was made by the board of directors and that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the full member boards had been informed of their stance. Pollard was informed that he would not be granted an NOC until the WICB had received an acceptance of the fee from various boards.
"The WICB will levy a charge for the granting of an NOC for West Indian cricketers seeking a release to participate in leagues around the jurisdiction of the West Indies. This will be the amount equivalent to 20% of the player fee (as defined in the player contract) that is actually paid to the relevant player", Muirhead wrote in an email as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Muirhead claimed that such a decision was taken considering a vast number of players from the country participate in various T20 leagues around the world, thereby failing to play in regional tournaments, which is actually detrimental to West Indies cricket.
"WICB, however, having invested in developing a player's talent, is not able to realize a return on its investment. In the end it compromises the standard of the WICB international team and that team's performance internationally. The primacy of international cricket is threatened."
This move from the WICB has attracted criticism from the Federation of International Players Association (Fica) who have called the decision a "restraint of trade" and warned it could attract legal challenges. Tony Irish, the Fica chairman, has called the move unjustified considering the board had not even discussed the matter with the other boards and Pollard himself.
According to ESPNCricinfo, the Bangladesh Cricket Board is considering a 10% payment while Cricket South Africa have refused to pay the fee with no response as yet from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA).