Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer has called for Euro T20 Slam organisers to show "a gesture" of good faith in order to restore confidence that the tournament will indeed go-ahead for 2020. Just two weeks before the start of the tournament, the organisers had cancelled the Euro T20 Slam.
Coetzer stated that the news, which was delivered to the Scotland squad in a team meeting on Wednesday before organisers sent out an official release to the general public, may leave Scotland players in a bind and many will now have to seek other ways to recoup the expected earnings from the tournament.
"Let's be honest, pretty much every one of the players was going to earn more in that space of time, to what they would earn in a full year playing cricket," Coetzer told ESPNcricinfo. "You have to look at the impact it may have on some guys and certainly there's a couple of boys that were potentially looking to go away at some time during the winter and now they probably need to get a job. It would have created giving guys an opportunity to feel an element of security in what we try and do."
The players from the three host countries were all due to earn between USD 10,000 and USD 35,000 in three salary tiers for Associate players in the three-week competition. Coetzer was due to receive USD 40,000 as all three T20 captains from the host countries - Ireland's Gary Wilson and the Netherlands' Pieter Seelaar - were stipulated to receive a USD 5000 bonus payment. In addition to the exposure of playing against world-class players, the financial lift to help professionalise players has now disappeared - which is significant.
"It's always hard enough,"Coetzer said. "You're just getting by and no one complains because we all love playing for Scotland and we're all heading towards the same goal but it's gonna make things harder. It would have just given guys, even if it was a year of breathing space, just to let them ease their minds a little bit, just go and play cricket, show the passion, which we always show anyway. But it would have taken a bit of a weight off some of the guys' shoulders financially. That's gonna be tough for guys to take."
Coetzer had returned just days earlier from the Global T20 Canada, where his Montreal Tigers squad was involved in a player protest along with Toronto Nationals as players refused to take the field until overdue salary disbursements were paid out. The Scotland captain said that organizers, who are in charge of both events, need to consider a make-good financial gesture to restore the confidence and credibility in the eyes of players and fans.
"It's reasonably well documented that something happened in Canada," Coetzer said. "I think all the players felt as if they would be getting paid. Part of it was there was a structure within the contract that says certain amounts should be paid within certain dates and that's where the issue was. I feel if they hold onto those agreements when they agree to them, then there would be no issue."
"What they may need to do to convince people for the Slam would be possibly a kind gesture towards some of the players to say, 'Look, we apologize for this but it will go ahead next year.' They probably need to show some kind of sign that they're willing to do that because we need the people to believe that it will still go ahead next year. The international players, the marquee players, they still need to have confidence that they won't miss out on something else if they come to the Slam. A number of our guys didn't put their names in other competitions."
Scotland coach Shane Burger also felt that the news influenced his players mentally prior to taking the field in their first Cricket World Cup League Two ODI against Oman, a match in which they were bowled out for 168. But he hopes they'll be able to bounce back over the next three matches in Aberdeen against Oman and Papua New Guinea.
"I have no doubt that there was an impact," Burger said. "I think if there wasn't an impact because of that, then I'd be surprised. There was a massive disappointment when the news was heard. However, in saying all of that, this is a professional cricket team that needs to make sure that they can switch on and off when they need to. It's not gonna be the first time they get given bad news.
"This team has had to deal with a lot this season, people passing away, Euro Slam news, all of it. I believe the team has come a long way in terms of maturity and they should have been able to deal with the news, as tough as it is to handle. I don't think that played a role in us losing the game today. I just think they outplayed us."