The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is once again at loggerheads with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) over one-time payments to cricketers. The bone of contention is about the payments to be made to the 13 cricketers who have played between one and nine Test matches after 1970. Incidentally, those who have played the same number prior to 1970 have already received one-time payments.
The CoA, at a meeting held in New Delhi in March, had decided to release Rs 15 lakh to each cricketer who had played between one and nine Test matches. However, the BCCI has not yet made the payments. It is learnt that BCCI officials believe the CoA should not be deciding on one-time payments because it is a ‘matter of policy’. “The CoA should be concerned with the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI. Making one-time payments to cricketers is a policy decision and should be on the agenda of the next finance committee meeting,” a BCCI official said.
A few cricketers, among the 13, have also written to the BCCI to enquire when they would receive the cheques. However, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary has informed them that such a payment needs the clearance of the finance committee and not the CoA.
The minutes of the meeting of CoA on March 22-23 reads: “The CoA also decided that corresponding changes be made in the policy for payment of one-time benefit to men cricketers so that even those men cricketers who have played between 1 and 9 Test Matches (with three One Day International Matches being treated as 1 Test Match) after 1970 would get the same one-time benefit as those men cricketers who have played between 1 and 9 Test Matches (with three One Day International Matches being treated as 1 Test Match) prior to 1970.”
The CoA also decided that those who have been received a one-time benefit for playing between 75 and 100 first-class matches and over 100 first class matches will also be paid extra if they fall into the category of cricketers to have played between 1 and 9 Test matches after 1970.
The BCCI’s stand stems from a decision taken two years ago, during a working committee meeting, when it was decided that one-time payments should be made only after the finance committee presents a paper on financial stability.
In April, women cricketers were given token over-sized cheques during an IPL game at the Wankhede Stadium but the payment was delayed because BCCI officials weren’t aware of the decision of the CoA to reward women players. Even back then BCCI officials were unhappy that the CoA had not taken into consideration the working committee’s decision on the paper on financial stability of the board first being tabled before releasing funds for one-time payments.