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Friday, August 14, 2020

Cricket world’s richest board hasn’t paid its star players in 10 months

The BCCI's 27 elite contracted players are yet to receive the first of the quarterly installments due since October last year.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Published: August 2, 2020 4:13:59 am
BCCI, cricket board, match fee, players payment, Indian express news The board has also not disbursed match fees for the two Tests, nine ODIs and eight T20 games that the national team has played since December 2019. (Representational)

The world’s richest cricket board hasn’t paid some of the world’s richest cricketers their dues for close to 10 months now.

The BCCI’s 27 elite contracted players are yet to receive the first of the quarterly installments due since October last year. The board has also not disbursed match fees for the two Tests, nine ODIs and eight T20 games that the national team has played since December 2019.

The total retainer amount due for contracted cricketers annually is Rs 99 crore, with the payment divided on grading. While Grade A+ cricketers Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah get Rs 7 crore annually, the other regulars in grades A, B and C get Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore, respectively. The match fees for each Test, ODI and T20 are Rs 15 lakh, Rs 6 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, respectively.

According to the last balance sheet made public by the BCCI, it had cash and bank balance of

Rs 5,526 crore, as of March 2018, including Rs 2,992 crore in fixed deposits. In April 2018, the BCCI signed a five-year broadcasting deal with Star TV worth Rs 6,138.1 crore.

And yet, eight of the contracted cricketers confirmed to The Indian Express that the payments haven’t been credited. BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal did not respond to texts and calls. However, board sources blamed the delay partly on uncertainty at the helm.

The board has not had a Chief Financial officer since December, and a Chief Executive Officer and General Manager (Cricket Operations) since last month. “These crucial administrative positions haven’t been filled after the contract of the previous functionaries weren’t extended,” said sources.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, too, have exhausted their tenure, as per the board’s Constitution. The board has approached the Supreme Court for annulling the “cooling off” clause so that both can retain their positions.

Speaking to The Sunday Express, a senior India cricketer said the board usually asks the players to raise invoices for contract dues every three months.

“But this time, we haven’t heard from them since the new list of contracted cricketers was announced. The BCCI used to pay the contract money in four instalments but now we don’t know when the payment will come. Last month, we were asked to raise the invoice for the New Zealand tour in February. The money hasn’t been credited yet,” said the cricketer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The contracts start from October, although the list of players this time was announced only in January.

The payment for first-class and age-group cricketers, too, has been delayed. Several domestic players from Jharkhand, Mumbai, Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Pondicherry, Baroda, Railways, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh said that the “full settlement” for the last season hasn’t been done.

According to the BCCI website, all the state units have been credited Rs 10 crore each as part payment of the annual subsidy for cricket activities.

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