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Finally, player contracts for India's cricketers
Faisal Shariff in Mumbai |
September 03, 2003 14:01 IST
Last Updated: September 03, 2003 14:39 IST
The long wait for Indian cricketers seeking financial security is almost over.
After two-and-a-half years, Indian cricketers will finally have player contracts with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The policy will be implemented by October 1 after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble discuss the issue with Board officials during the Challenger Trophy tournament in Bangalore this month.
An Indian cricketer currently takes home Rs 2.7 lakhs (Rs 270,000) for a Test and Rs 2.21 lakhs (Rs 221,000) for a one-day international. This includes match fees as well as money accruing from sponsorship.
Under the new system 20 players will be paid an annual retainer.
This pool of 20 players will be graded according to experience and performance.
The three grades will be Rs 60 lakh or Rs 6 million (Grade A); Rs 30 lakh or Rs 3 million (Grade B); Rs 15 lakh or Rs 1.5 million (Grade C).
The Board had earlier recommended four grades for players, but a committee comprising Mumbai Cricket Association Secretary Professor Ratnakar Shetty, media manager Amrit Mathur and BCCI secretary S K Nair decided to stick to three categories.
The Board president, coach and chairman of the selection committee will review the 20 players annually.
Professor Shetty said reserve players will henceforth earn only 50 per cent of the fees received by the playing eleven.
Reserve players receiving the same amount as the playing eleven has been a theme of discontent amongst the players for a long time. No player went public, fearing he would be portrayed as a malcontent out to wreck the team's unity.
With the annual retainership, an injured player will continue receiving his fee till he recovers.
Clearly, a departure from the days when Javagal Srinath languished on the sidelines after a shoulder injury in 1997 and missed the West Indies tour or Anil Kumble who missed the 2001 season when the Australians visited India.
Two years ago a player told this correspondent, "Everytime I dive to field a ball or take a catch, there is fear in my mind that if I injure myself I will be out of the team. I lose out on my earnings."
Now that mindset will change.
The senior players are seeking a clarification about the BCCI's gross income and its decision to earmark 26 per cent of its income to the players.
Half the 26 per cent will be given to the national team. First-class cricketers will get 10.4 per cent while junior cricketers will get 2.6 per cent.
According to sources the BCCI has not included the interest generated on its income nor has it given an indication of what the 26 per cent will mean in rupee terms.
If the Board earns Rs 100 crores (or Rs 1 billion) a year, the interest generated on that sum would be Rs 7 or Rs 8 crores (Rs 70 million to Rs 80 million).
The senior players have also inquired about the new fees for domestic players. According to the new system, every first-class player will earn between Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per match.