'All the inputs they have to give us were taken and we are going to factor those in'
'The FTP, we bounced it off them'
India captain Virat Kohli and his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni's demand for a pay hike for the team was on Thursday accepted by the Committee of Administrators, which also took their inputs on the issue of cramped scheduling.
Kohli and Dhoni on Thursday met COA chief Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri in New Delhi.
"We had extensive discussions with players on issues that pertain to them directly, which means the number of matches they have to play, the Future Tours Program (FTP) and compensation package etc," Rai told reporters after the meeting which lasted more than two hours.
"All the inputs they have to give us were taken and we are going to factor those in. The FTP, we bounced it off them. Presentations have been made and they are in agreement with the FTP so that they get enough rest. Number of days, I can't tell you as we have not yet worked it out," Rai said.
It has also been reliably learnt that the Indian team, which is scheduled to play a full series in England between July and September next year, will travel there two weeks in advance to get acclimatised with the conditions.
This comes after Kohli complained of lack of time to prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa for which the team is scheduled to leave on December 27, just a couple of days after winding up a home series against Sri Lanka.
On the proposed pay hike, Rai did not spell out the remuneration plan but said that both Kohli and Dhoni were in agreement with the structure which is being worked out.
"The principles on which compensation package has to be structured, that has been agreed to. It's only a question of numbers now. We will now match the revenue with compensation that each player receives," the former CAG chief said.
When asked if there will be separate structures for red and white ball specialists, Rai said: "There was no discussion on this topic."
He claimed he was unaware of reports that the Indian Premier League would be telecast live on Doordarshan.
Rai did not forget to mention that players were happy that representatives of BCCI were having a dialogue with them instead of intimating them after taking unilateral decisions.
"All the discussions were very fruitful and they (Kohli and Dhoni) were very receptive as a consequence of which it's the first time that anyone is having a dialogue with them. Otherwise it used to be decisions taken and just communicated to them," Rai concluded.
Ganguly backs pay hike for players
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly supported the pay hike for the national team cricketers, saying the players deserve to get a share of the BCCI's ever increasing revenues.
"Absolutely, players should get money, why not? The Board makes so much money, the players should also get it. When Virat Kohli plays, the entire country watches him," Ganguly said at promotional event in Mumbai.
The former left-handed batsman also said that the players should be looked after well by the cricket authorities as their careers are short.
"Players should be very well looked after because the (career) span is only 15 years. Not many (players) play for 15 (years), very few play for 20 (years). So, I am a big supporter of that (pay hike)," Ganguly said.
“The BCCI does that. If you look at the way the players are looked after these days, it's phenomenal. I have actually seen the entire circle. When I played in 1991, for the entire trip in Australia, I got paid Rs 30,000, and when I finished in 2013, I could see the drastic change. It's in every profession," he added.
The Indian cricketers' central contracts saw more than two-fold rise during their last hike with top players in Grade A allotted Rs. 2 crore annually. Earlier, they were drawing Rs. 1 crore.
Meanwhile, Ganguly said if skipper Kohli is keen to sort out the FTP issue with the Board, it would be done.
Kohli recently complained of lack of time to prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa for which the team is scheduled to leave on December 27, just a couple of days after winding up the ongoing home series against Sri Lanka.
"Virat is the captain, if he sorts the issue out, it will get done. I don't see much problem there. Before going on tours, I think they should clear it out. It isn't difficult to sit down and talk about this and clear things," President of the Cricket Association of Bengal said.
"All the players are playing well. They are all hitting centuries. Virat is in top form, so it's okay, let them play," he added.
Kohli had stressed on the necessity to space out two successive series, as he felt that the team needed to do its preparation differently for a bigger series such as the upcoming one against South Africa in South Africa.