Boards must be careful over dropping Kolpak players

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) have been advised to tread carefully with the future of the three Barbadian players who have Kolpak contracts.

Any attempt to prevent them from playing for their country may be subject to a lawsuit for denying them the right to employment as professional cricket players, says Barbados acting deputy director of sport Adrian Donovan.

He was responding to opinions expressed in the media querying whether the WICB and the BCA should choose Corey Collymore, Dwayne Smith and Pedro Collins to play for Barbados. “It has been suggested that these Kolpak players should not be selected to play for Barbados because they can’t play for West Indies. A suggestion has also been made that the WICB inform the territories they shouldn’t be considered for selection.

“They [WICB and BCA] have to be careful because a person cannot be denied an employment opportunity,” Donovan said. “If they want to drop any of these players, they should find some other reason such as non-performances, the age factor, not coming to trials, or breach of the code of conduct and so on, but you can’t use the reason that they are contracted to another group or organisation.”

Donovan said sports contracts could be easily broken these days, and it was often seen in sports where a player might sign a three-year contract, but midway find a loophole to break that contract and transfer to another team.

“This has serious legal implications and both individual territories and the board have to be careful. Anyone who makes a living by playing cricket should be free to work for whomever and whatever he feels is in his best interest, and any infraction that would circumvent a player’s employment opportunities could be deemed as taking an illegal position.”

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