Young players are increasingly drawn towards becoming free agents, floating from one T20 league to another, and shunning traditional paths in order to play in international cricket. That is the headline conclusion of the first global employment report on men’s professional cricketers, released by the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) last week.

The report, titled ‘Shifting Landscape’, is based on responses from 300 cricketers across the world (but not from India or Pakistan, where there are no player associations). These are the key findings.

Traditional employment under “significant threat”

The money and exposure on offer in T20 leagues mean players are no longer beholden to national contracts, an umbilical cord, which about a decade ago many found hard to cut. As players have evolved their game, a consequence of playing in different T20 leagues, the report states the “traditional model is under significant threat from alternative employment” options available in the “new market”.

“We are seeing the beginnings of a trend in which annual contracts across all formats of the game, are being declined by players at both domestic and international level worldwide. This ‘flight of talent’ from the traditional ‘vertical’ pathway with players moving to where they are increasingly valued, and can build more lucrative careers has the potential to undermine both the quality and value of international cricket, which already sees many top players in the world not playing for their national teams on a regular basis, or at all.”

“Sideways” route to free agency

FICA finds that more young players are now taking a “horizontal pathway” – where they travel the world year-round playing various domestic T20 leagues like the IPL and the Big Bash (the two most popular voted by the players). That offers them greater financial security and better work-life balance in the absence of a coherent international cricket …read more

Source:: Sportstornado – Sports


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