In his 19-page proposal to the COA submitted during the IPL final, which The Indian Express accessed, Anil Kumble negotiated a better, format-centric pay package, based on comparable international benchmarks, for the players and support staff. He called for a more professional method for incentive allocation, while also raking up the prickly issue of a transparent revenue-allotting system, vis-a-vis the gross revenue percentage. He also highlighted the need to preserve and reward Test cricketers.
Lost in translation
Though the BCCI make premature press announcements regarding hiking match fee, it seldom materialises.
Kumble reckons the prevailing approach to compensation is ad-hoc and “several players and staff (enablers) and in many cases key personnel (particularly support staff) do not have any contracts in place before starting their commitments.” The board, he writes, makes premature announcements, but doesn’t translate into “action in a timely manner”. The existing policies should be reviewed and revised “in tunes with the times”.
Don’t Forget Test Cricket
To drive youngsters into the longest format, make Test cricket more remunerative.
The future generation of cricketers embrace the game by watching T20 cricket, he observes. Hence the future of Test cricket “is at stake”. So, to sustain and swell their interest in the game, Test cricket should be made more remunerative. He feels that the skills used for white ball cricket are more remunerative, as they help with the IPL and Endorsements. “Bowling a few overs in IPL can fetch far more money than bowling tons of overs for India in Tests. In the Bengaluru test, Ashwin bowled 49 overs in one innings. This was more than the number of overs he bowled in all of IPL 2016,” he points out.
This gulf is “unhealthy” and “detrimental”, he says. He takes the case of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, both no longer in the limited-over frame and without an IPL contract last season. “They were able to handle a persistent opposition session after session on a sporting wicket. These skills should be assigned a higher value than what the distortions of the present market based mechanisms allow,” he says.
Long Format, Big Gain
The match fee in Test to be increased from Rs 7 lakh to 15 lakh
Kumble wanted to revamp the present annual retainer and fee structure. Currently, they are divided into the three categories (ABC). Kumble wanted to trim it down to two but with a steep hike (A group getting Rs 4 crore and B Rs 3 crore). Also, he proposed doubling of the match fee (from Rs 7 to Rs 15 lakh for the playing XI and from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh to the non-playing members).
He also suggests a similar system for ODIs and the T20Is too, so as to reward the ODI and T20 regulars. For even those who have not played international cricket command astronomical sums by just playing in the IPL.
Annual Retainer fee
Currently: subsumed under A,B, C category
Suggested: 2 bands – A: Rs 4 cr; B: Rs 3 cr.
ODI / T20I
Currently: Subsumed under A,B, C category.
Suggest: 2 bands (A – Rs 2.5 cr; B – 1.5 crores)
Currently: Rs 7 lakh for playing XI; Rs 3.5 lakh for non-playing.
Suggested: Rs 15 lakh for playing XI; Rs 7 lakh for non-playing.
Currently: Rs 3 lakh for playing XI; Rs 1.5 lakh for non-playing.
Suggested: Rs 10 lakh for playing XI; Rs 5 lakh for non-playing.
Currently: Rs 1.5 lakh for playing XI; Rs 75,000 for non-playing.
Suggested: Rs 5 lakh for playing XI; Rs 2.5 lakh for non-playing.
What is gross revenue?
Kumble and BCCI’s definition of the Indian board’s gross revenue are different.
His argument: “The arrangement for players’ compensation was 26% of gross BCCI revenues with 13% for the international players and 13% for domestic players. The original agreement meant all gross BCCI revenues.” He goes on to add that the BCCI calculates the gross revenue after deducting 70 per cent of the media rights income that goes to the state units. Kumble adds that there was a lack of clarity whether “IPL media rights are part of the media rights income”.
His suggestion: The Gross Revenue should mean “all income less any direct production costs involved in realising the income”.
BCCI’s response: “There’s absolute clarity. IPL media rights are not part of the media rights income (for the players). When this revenue distribution system was decided, there was no IPL and it’s solely the revenue earned from bilateral series. Players get contracts from the IPL franchises directly and that’s their income from the tournament.”
What Should The Coaches Get?
About 60% of What The Captain Gets
Head coach: The document suggests a hike of Rs 7.5 crore from the current Rs 6.5 crore, which is estimated to be 60% of the captain’s earnings. It has also provisioned 30% of the captain’s salary as variable bonus based on the team’s performance.
Support staff: Kumble’s document has also proposed a substantial pay hike for the support staff. He has suggested that batting coach Sanjay Bangar’s salary be hiked from current Rs 1 crore to Rs 2.25 crore, which essentially works out to 30% of the earnings of the head coach. R. Sridhar, the fielding coach should get Rs 1.75 crore, instead of the current Rs 1 crore with “retrospective effect” from June 1, 2016.
IPL window for coaches: Just as players have been kept out of contracts during IPL, Kumble has urged a similar treatment be meted out to the coaches as well. “The players are kept out of contracts during the two-month IPL window. Similarly, the coaches too need to be kept out of contract, allowing them to be a part of the league — this will enable them to augment their earnings and gain more experience particularly for T20 games,” he stated.
Kumble sums up the gist of his proposals thus:
- Finalisation of items which constitute the 13 percent international players’ share of the gross revenue of BCCI.
- Consider the adoption of the proposal relating to retained fee for players and support staff contracts in retrospect from June 1, 2016.
- The proposed structure with variables and bonuses for players and support staff may be made applicable from June 1, 2017.
- Consider bonus payment to players and support staff for India becoming No 1 in ICC Test ranking and winning the ICC mace (there is a precedence in 2009).
- Finalisation of all coaching and support staff contracts for the next term before March 31, 2017.