In a surprising move, three of West Indies’ most in-demand players in the franchise circuit – Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, and Nicholas Pooran – have turned down central contract offers from Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the 2023/24 period. Despite this, the players will remain available for T20I selection.
On December 10, CWI announced the list of 14 men and 15 women who were awarded central contracts, including six first-timers. Notably absent from the list were Holder, Mayers, and Pooran. The CWI clarified that the players had declined contracts, opting instead to focus on franchise cricket.
Despite their decision, the players’ absence from the contracted list will not impact their availability for T20I selection. This means that they could still represent West Indies in the 2024 T20 World Cup, which includes a home tournament for the men’s team.
The decision to decline the contract offers is surprising, given that these three players are among the most in-demand players in the franchise circuit. Pooran, in particular, has been a hot commodity, having recently signed a $4.2 million deal with the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League.
Regardless, CWI has moved forward and unveiled their contracted players for the 2023/24 period. The list includes several new faces, including Keacy Carty, Alick Athanaze, and Romario Shepherd. The women’s contracted players also have six new faces, with Sheneta Grimmond and Zaida James among them.
It remains to be seen how Holder, Mayers, and Pooran’s decision will affect their future in West Indies cricket and the franchise circuit. For now, fans will have to wait and see if they will continue to make themselves available for international selection or if they will focus solely on franchise cricket.