London. Feb 17: England team captain Alastair Cook has ordered his players to forget about the pay row and concentrate on their game ahead of all important Ashes this year, adding no one can put a price on an England shirt.
Test and one-day skipper Cook retrieved the baton from Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad 24 hours after players’ union chief Angus Porter claimed England stars were ‘substantially underpaid’.
According to the Daily Mirror, Porter warned of a growing frustration among Cook’s squad that they are missing out on lucrative stints in the Indian Premier League and other Twenty20 competitions because they are handcuffed to England’s non-stop fixture schedule.
But ahead of opening one-day international against New Zealand, Cook distanced himself from Porter’s shop-steward bartering and ordered his side to focus on stuffing the Aussies in back-to-back Ashes series and winning the Champions Trophy on home soil.
England players on the top pay band like Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Broad, who play all three forms of the game, Test, one-day and Twenty20 internationals, can earn up to 700,000-pounds-a-year from their Lord’s contracts.
Cook said that ‘it’s not something he has picked up on among the players. Certainly there are negotiations going on about central contracts, but this isn’t the time or place to be talking about them, the report added. (ANI)