More money for Tests could bring back stars, says Holder

first_imgSYDNEY, Australia (CMC):West Indies captain Jason Holder believes parity in earnings will motivate players to focus more on international cricket instead of solely on the lucrative Twenty20 format.Holder was responding to claims by England star Kevin Pietersen that the game’s biggest stars, especially those from West Indies, were being lost to international cricket because of the lure of T20s.Pietersen, a former Test star who now peddles his talents on the T20 circuit, said that the International Cricket Council needed to intervene to ensure that there were competitive financial incentives available to players in international cricket.”I think it’s possibly a way to keep [Test cricket] alive. Obviously, we’re in a situation where the money isn’t great for us at the moment, and we’ve been in numerous battles for that, but that’s beyond our control at this present time,” Holder told reporters yesterday.”At the end of the day, hopefully, somewhere along the line we can have an increase in pay and be paid a little bit better than at the moment.”Pietersen was echoing sentiments similar to those of West Indies’ chief selector Clive Lloyd, who said on Friday that the money on offer on the global T20 circuit had resulted in several Caribbean players opting out of Test cricket.West Indies players like Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, and AndrÈ Russell are all campaigning in the Big Bash League, while an inexperienced Caribbean side has been locked in a three-Test series with Australia.Holder said priority needed to be placed on international cricket and believed players would take this option once there was some balance, financially, with T20s.”I think we need to strike a balance, and I’m not knocking T20 cricket because I love T20 cricket myself, but we just need to find a way where the country comes first and then we are flexible in terms of allowing people to make money outside of international cricket,” the 24-year-old said.”I don’t think we should be playing hardball and deny people from going and playing, but there has to be a situation where we make international cricket our first priority. I think once we get to that stage, the players will buy in.”last_img read more

Mourinho’s transfer wish-list? Chelsea’s top five possible summer targets assessed

first_img 5 5 4. Kenedy (Fluminense) – Scroll on to see which international defender is on Mourinho’s wishlist – Chelsea, through former star Deco who is the player’s agent, have been in touch with the forward. Manchester United are also believed to be keen on the 19-year-old Brazilian but the Blues are in pole position for the £9.2m-rated starlet. 5. Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Click right to see Chelsea’s top transfer targets this summer – The Brazil star, it seems, is desperate to join his friend Willian at Stamford Bridge having issued a come-and-get-me plea, admitting he wants to play for the club and admires Jose Mourinho. Should the Blues agree a fee with the Ukrainians, it should be a simple deal to conclude. 5 Chelsea have had a strong season so far, and it looks increasingly likely that they will claim a fifth top-flight crown (fourth in the Premier League era), but that isn’t stopping Jose Mourinho from plotting his summer business.With the Blues exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage, the Portuguese will already be planning his European assault for next year, with his thirst for glory driving him on.Juan Cuadrado was a January signing who, once settled, should add a little extra dynamism to the Chelsea midfield, but the real building will happen in the summer.With that in mind, talkSPORT looks at some of the players who might make a switch to Stamford Bridge.Click the right arrow to see their possible top targets… 2. Paul Pogba (Juventus) – Click right to find out the man who could be Jose Mourinho’s top transfer target – The midfield superstar is set to be the most wanted player this summer following his exceptional displays for the Old Lady. Chelsea could, thanks to Pogba having already spent time at Manchester United, now be favourites for his signature but they will have to shell out £55m for him. 3. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – Find out which £55m-rated man could head to Stamford Bridge next – With John Terry not getting any younger and Gary Cahill’s form showing signs of dipping, it’s understandable Chelsea are looking at possible new defenders. Mourinho signed the France star for Real Madrid and could now take him to Stamford Bridge and pair him with starlet Kurt Zouma. 5 5 1. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – With the Welshman’s time at the Bernabeu seemingly turning sour, an opportunity to land Bale could present itself and it has been reported Chelsea could land him in an incredible £150m double swoop in the summer. UEFA’s financial fair play rules could scupper such a move though.last_img read more