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Andre Fletcher and Andre Russell celebrate West Indies' win AFP

Big bucks to tour Pakistan

Cricket West Indies (CWI) is offering its contracted and non-contracted players major pay hikes as an incentive to play a three-match Twenty20 International series in Pakistan next month. 

Popular website ESPNcricinfo yesterday reported that the West Indies players are being offered around US$25 000 each for three matches in Karachi on April 1, 2and 3.

It, however, said the regional body did not confirm or deny the amount but noted the West Indies will announce a 13-man touring squad to tour Pakistan when the ongoing World Cup Qualifier ends.

Depending on the contract status of players, they will be getting anywhere between 70per cent more and double their usual fees.

Under the new CWI contracts announced in January, many of the non-contracted T20 specialists got a raise of US$1 725 to US $5 000 per game, along with double match fees for all three formats.

Though CWI will be paying the players, the money for that to materialise has come from a payment made by the Pakistan Cricket Board to CWI for this series as it is outside the Future Tours Programme (FTP).

“Pakistan are looking to play more cricket at home, by playing half of the PSL [Pakistan Super League] in Pakistan next year and a number of matches in upcoming bilateral series under the current FTP,” CWI CEO Johnny Grave told ESPNcricinfo.

“However what they can’t continue to do is pay international players additional fees to tour Pakistan or PSL. So, considering this tour is outside the FTP, the PCB have made a payment to CWI that is being fully utilised. CWI isn’t making any money from the series, just supporting cricket going back to Pakistan,” he stressed. The issue of paying players extra to tour Pakistan, which hasn’t hosted regular international cricket since the March 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team, is a delicate one for the PCB.

They paid Zimbabwe’s players US$12 500 each for a tour in 2015, the first by any international team to Pakistan since 2009.

Foreign players were also offered extra money on top of their contracts to play in the PSL final in Lahore last year.

The players who toured Lahore as part of a World XI last September were also paid by the PCB.

It is understood CWI has reserved dates at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida for the weekend of August 5-6 to play two T20 Internationals.

This is the last weekend before the start of the Caribbean Premier League.

“As a trade-off for this, we have their agreement to play regular T20 games in USA or Canada outside of the FTP to try and build interest in cricket in our time zone,” Grave said.

Players such as the Bravo brothers, Dwayne and Darren, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy are unlikely to be selected.

Russell and Dwayne Bravo are currently injured, while sources say Narine and Pollard are not comfortable travelling to Pakistan currently.

Whether Darren Bravo was contacted about playing is unknown, but some likely squad members include veteran leg-spinner Samuel Badree, Rayad Emrit and potentially a recall for wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. (EZS/Cricinfo)

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