England players offered cash bonuses to help prevent slide

In an attempt to inspire England's cricketers to great deeds and maintain their position as the No 2 side in the world, the England and Wales Cricket Board is considering providing Michael Vaughan's side with performance bonuses. England will slip from second to fifth place in the world rankings should they fail to defeat Sri Lanka in the third Test, which was scheduled to start this morning in Galle, and any player who scores a double hundred or takes seven wickets in an innings could be in line for a 5,000 bonus.

Team win bonuses have long been part of England's pay structure, with substantial payments of 200,000 or more being shared among the players on a pro rata basis should the side win a Test series containing four or more Tests. But this will be the first time that members of the team have been given personal incentives.

The parameters were based on two outstanding individual performances during last winter's Ashes. In Adelaide, Paul Collingwood scored 206 and Matthew Hoggard took 7-109 but, ironically, they failed to prevent their side falling to a six-wicket defeat to Australia. Kevin Pietersen would have been the last England player to qualify for a bonus after scoring 226 against the West Indies at Headingley during the summer.

Players enjoy these bonuses, seeing them as suitable reward for an outstanding achievement, and Vaughan is keen for them to be introduced. Such incentives can, however, be counterproductive. They can cause players to be selfish in their actions, placing their desire to reach 200 in front of the team's quest to score quick runs.

They can place the captain in a difficult position too. There may be times when sentiment rather than the match situation affects his decision-making. A bowler has six wickets but the game dictates that another bowler should be bowling does he give him one more over or remove him from the attack immediately? In a tight game the difference could affect the result of a game.

The personal rewards are competitive when compared to those a team will receive for being in first or second place in the ICC rankings at midnight on 31 March, the cut-off date for deciding who is the best side in the world. In 2007 Australia received US $175,000 (87,000) for being top while England, who were second, divvied up US $75,000 (37,000).

England falling to fifth is a predicament Vaughan is very wary of. "The ratings are important because you never want to go down them," said Vaughan. "But, even so, I do believe there are a lot of good things happening around the team at the moment. There are a lot of good young players around the side: Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara and Stuart Broad.

"Stephen Harmison is back and Matthew Hoggard, if available, is bowling well. All the batsmen are playing in a controlled fashion too. If we keep working the way we are, keep progressing, Test match wins will come sooner rather than later."

Sri Lanka will be the team that replaces England in second place should they avoid defeat over the next five days. It would be a rise that would complete an excellent 2007 for Mahela Jayawardene's side, who reached the World Cup Final in April only to lose to Australia.

"If we win this Test we shoot up to second in the world and that is a very good incentive for us," he said. "We have been pretty consistent as a team in the last year, not just at home but away too. We have competed well against the best in the world.

"Finishing the year in second place after getting to the World Cup Final would be very satisfying not just for me but for a whole group of players. Everyone has put in a lot of effort and as a group of players we have done brilliantly. The youngsters have stepped up to the plate too when they have been asked to and I am very happy with the all-round effort."

* lThe Pakistan Cricket Board has denied Rao Iftikhar Anjum permission to join Glamorgan next summer. The pace bowler was to be the county's overseas player for 2008, but the PCB has decided to retain him in the country because of a packed international calendar.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific