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Now, cricketers will take home a lot more

Sambit Saha & Pradeep Gooptu in Kolkata | September 07, 2004 09:47 IST

Indian cricketers are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of the landmark television broadcasting rights deal which secured Rs 1,416 crore (Rs 14.16 billion) for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The pay packets of international cricketers as well as domestic and junior players will swell as they will get 26 per cent of the board's gross revenue according to the contract between the players and the BCCI.

The last TV rights contract with Doordarshan, which comes to an end this year, was only for Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion). Sale of TV rights was the biggest source of revenue for BCCI.

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said the board will also invest a lot more for the development of cricket in India.

"It is a little premature to say what is to be done with the funds being raised through the sale of TV rights. The details will be finalised in the BCCI's annual general meeting at the end of this month," Dalmiya said.

Under the formula, 13 per cent of gross receipts, which was 50 per cent of the total fund allocated for payment to players, would go to international cricketers, while 10.4 per cent would be distributed among domestic players and 2.6 per cent to junior cricketers.

BCCI sources said it generally ploughed back most of the income for the game's development. "The annual administrative cost is very minimal," the sources added.

In 2002-03, the board earned about Rs 108.53 crore (Rs 1.08 billion), while expenses stood at Rs 110.9 crore (Rs 1.11 billion). This year, the board's income was expected to rise substantially.

Apart from TV rights, the BCCI earns through logo sponsorship from Sahara. Cash flows into its coffers also through guarantees, prize money and sponsorship.

On the expenditure side, the biggest head was direct cricketing expenses, followed by international tours and coaching fees.

The huge surge in revenues comes at a crucial time in the board's affairs. Dalmiya's term is ending this month and a North Zone nominee will assume office.

The names of Arun Jaitley and Ranvir Singh are doing the rounds. Dalmiya is likely to move on to the post of patron-in-chief of the association, and a new official who will be in charge of relations between the BCCI and International Cricket Council and Asian Cricket Council. This post is likely to be created at a special general meeting of the BCCI to be held in Chennai in mid-September.

The BCCI also provides subsidies to state associations for cricket development. It also gives grants for infrastructure development and upgradation, which includes building of new stadia and upgrading of old ones.

It recently opened a National Cricket Academy at Bangalore and launched a benevolent fund scheme where insurance cover was provided to 2,100 players in the country.

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