CHENNAI: Procedures followed by the Committee of Administrators while announcing the pay hike for India cricketers have come under scrutiny.
BCCI office-bearers are set to bring it to the notice of Supreme Court for not being consulted when the list was finalised.Acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary has even said that he is unlikely to sign the contract papers when they come to him.
Express understands that national selectors didn’t play any significant role in finalising the list. Since 2004-05 when the BCCI introduced annual contracts, the selectors had been choosing players.
Although the CoA has claimed that the selectors compiled the list, it is reliably learnt that they were not kept in the loop till the names were finalised. It is also understood that promotions handed out to a couple of players have raised eyebrows.
Choudhary’s outburst comes on a day when the CoA in its latest status report to the SC, sought removal of BCCI office-bearers, saying that their tenures are over.
Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji have also sought the removal of IPL governing council chairman Rajeev Shukla for the same.
Edulji told a news agency that the BCCI finance committee sat with the contract papers for three months despite being sent three reminders. But the office-bearers claimed they received no communication on this.
“What communication are they talking about? The office-bearers didn’t receive a single mail from the CoA in this regard. The treasurer (Anirudh Chaudhary) had made a presentation which covered all those involved, including umpires, curators, who too were eligible for new contracts. But none of that seems to have been considered by the CoA and they have finalised the list without consulting any of us,” an office-bearer told Express.
Choudhary, who is convener of the selection committee, said there was no meeting of selectors to pick players for different categories.
“I was never part of this process. As a convenor of selectors, I can say there was no meeting on this. The contract papers haven’t reached me yet. Given that I didn’t play any role in this process, I won’t sign them if they come to me,” he said.
The contracts awarded for 2017-18 are supposed to take into account the performance of players between October 2016 and September 2017. Notable in that regard is pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who features in the A+ category, which entails him to Rs 7 crore for the year.
Though there is no questioning the credentials of Bumrah, it can’t be overlooked that he is still a rookie at the Test level, having made debut during South Africa tour. And the only player, who played during the period and miss out on a contract is opener Abhinav Mukund, who played two Tests.
Similarly, the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur don’t find any mention. Also noteworthy is the case of ODI regular Kedar Jadhav, who has been demoted to Grade C (Rs 1 crore). Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, has got a Grade B contract (Rs 3 crore) despite having returned to the ODI side recently.
“Some promotions are surprising because the contracts were supposed to be made based on performance of the players between 2016-17. Not just a few have been demoted, but those who got to play only recently have got promotions,” said an official.
If Choudhary doesn’t sign the contracts, then the BCCI won’t be in a position to insure the players, which is up for renewal shortly. “We don’t understand why such urgency was shown only to reward international cricketers. Domestic players deserved much more. With the TV rights also up for grabs, it could have been more. And what about the hike to umpires and curators?” an office-bearer said.