New Zealand cricketers are bearing the burnt of their disastrous tour of India as they have been issued a warning by their Players' Association to either perform or get ready for a less pay package.
Heath Mills, general manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA), said the leading players are all on annual contracts and if they play well they will be rewarded or else they must be ready to drop down the pecking order with an associated cut in salary.
"If they don't perform during the year they will slide down the rankings and get paid less money. It's as simple as that and it's happened over the last few years under our system," Mills was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday.
The top 20 players receive a basic salary before match payments. It ranges from the No 1 ranked player getting USD 177,000 down to the bottom three players who receive USD 72,000. The numbers drop USD 6000 with each ranking spot.
"To suggest they don't get a pay cut shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the professional-sport contracting environment. It's a volatile environment and these guys will be feeling it on a whole host of fronts," added Mills.
Mills also said that poor performance may just limit their other playing opportunities like the T20 tournaments around the world, and even the sponsors could take a dimmer view of backing an under-achieving player.
However, he admitted that the players do not need to be reminded that they significantly require to raise their game that was expected of them by the nation's cricket loving public and stakeholders.
"What they all say to me is 'we've let the country down. That's what they carry every day and they need to be accountable for that and need to rectify it," said the boss of the players' association.
"Rest assured, however badly I or other stakeholders may be feeling, for the players it's 20 times worse. There's no need to remind them; they know they've got a lot of work to do."
During their tour of India, New Zealand lost the Test series 0-1 and the five-match ODI series 0-5. Earlier, they suffered a 0-4 whitewash in the ODI series against Bangladesh as well.
Mills also said it was time to find ways to help the players get back to the level "we know they can perform at".