CHENNAI : It was in May that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) announced 100 per cent rise in retainership amounts for players centrally contracted by BCCI. Men and women who play for India had match fees revised with effect from October, 2016. It was also announced that those playing domestic cricket will receive a hike.It’s been about six months since, but no decision has been taken on revising payment structure in the domestic circuit. Normally, the BCCI finance committee would have proposed this, which would have gone to the working committee for approval. With the CoA running affairs, the decision is expected from them, in consultation with the finance committee if need be. However, with the CoA busy preparing a draft constitution for BCCI and tied up with other matters, this issue seems to have gone unnoticed.
“We had heard before the season started in October that playing in domestic circuit was going to become more lucrative. Nothing was officially communicated. We saw media reports. Almost half the Ranji season is over and we are yet to hear about any pay revision. We guess it’s not going to happen,” said a player.
It has been learnt that this was discussed at a recent meeting of the CoA, where it was decided that domestic players would get a raise, although no announcement was made. Attempts to get a comment on this from CoA head Vinod Rai, member Diana Edulji, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and CFO Santosh Rangnekar were unsuccessful.
As of now, all those playing men’s senior domestic cricket get a flat `10,000 per day. Plus, they receive a variable in the form of a share of the BCCI’s profits. Till last season, the total came to around `35,000 per day. With Ranji Trophy matches reduced to six per team in the group stages from eight, players are in for less pay, unless a raise is offered.“This will be bad because a domestic cricketer who doesn’t have an IPL contract earns around `8-9 lakh per year. That’s nothing if you consider that a career is over once one reaches 35. That’s a reason players are looking forward to a pay revision,” added the player.
The situation is such that it’s not easy to point fingers at anyone. The finance committee could have been held responsible under normal circumstances for not finalising this. But with its powers curbed and the CoA announcing that there will be no finance committee under the new constitution, this body chaired by Jyotiraditya Scindia has gone quiet and stopped holding meetings.
This brings the ball back in CoA’s court. Other than taking care of the contracted players, it had been proactive in extending a one-time benefit to former women cricketers, who played in the era of no money in women’s game. Even the blind cricket team, not under the BCCI banner, was promised a crore for winning the World Cup. The matter of looking at the domestic circuit seems to have escaped attention.