AB de Villiers' comments should ring alarm bells | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo
With plenty of the non-Big 3 nations struggling financially, and the rise of several lucrative T20 leagues, international cricketers for the first time have the choice between playing for their country or playing for their wallets.
While every young cricketer dreams of one day playing for their country, the inability of some of these countries to pay their cricketers a decent salary (or indeed, even pay them at all), along with the presence dysfunctional, inept or corrupt administrators, may be enough to push some of these young players into pursuing a career being a T20 mercenary for hire.
We have already seen Chris Gayle give up on the West Indies for several reasons, with plenty of very talented cricketers having followed suit, while even the likes of Sanga and Mahela retired with a few years of cricket left in them - partly to fill their wallets playing in various leagues around the world, and partly out of frustration from having to deal with the SLCB.
ABDV's recent comments about the challenges faced by cricketers having to pick between demanding international schedules and earning a quick buck T20 has been quite concerning. Surely this shouldn't be a choice to begin with right? Surely it's International cricket first, everything else second?
But that's not the reality we face.
So the question here is, should the ICC (AKA the Big 3) be stepping up and making sure that international cricketers all around the world earn a good salary, regardless of which country they play for?
The Pros of this are obvious. Redistributing funds in order to ensure the best talent in the world is able to play Test cricket is a big step towards ensuring the format remains healthy and competitive. It is the pinnacle of the sport, and thus should be played by the very best cricketers available to each nation.
On the other hand, the ICC footing the bill means putting cash in the hands of corrupt, inept boards such as the SLCB, WICB and ZCB. The struggles faced by cricketers of these countries is in no small part down to terrible leadership and management from their cricketing boards. By stepping in to bail them out, we are essentially absolving them of the consequences of their poor leadership. Wouldn't that money be better spent on helping non-Test nations that are well run (see Ireland) work towards Test status?