NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is working towards formalizing a system to give central contracts to domestic players before the start of the upcoming season This development comes at a time when a lot of domestic players are getting anxious about the possibility of a truncated season which could lead to a loss of substantial part of their earnings.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had confirmed to TOI in March that the board would be introducing central contracts for domestic cricketers from this season. He had also claimed that there will be a significant pay hike for domestic players. But the pandemic delayed the process. BCCI has also been revisiting its tax structure and trying to get tax benefits on several expenditures.
TOI understands that the board is looking to roll out the system by the end of August or early September. Sources said some details are yet to be worked out. “The contract system is likely to be facilitated through the state associations. There’s an idea to send a proforma to the state associations and they will need to follow the standard procedure to implement the contracts,” a BCCI source told TOI.
The big challenge for BCCI is to standardize the pay structure. BCCI isn’t keen to leave it entirely to the states’ wisdom to sign players. “There needs to be a standard gradation system. It will be unfair if all states come up with varying criteria. It also needs to be discussed if the match fees will be exclusive of the contract,” the source said. The match fee of women domestic cricketers is also likely to be discussed.
Last year, Cricket Association of Uttarakhand had announced rolling out of central contracts. Recently, Punjab Cricket Association too announced that they will give out central contracts.
Currently, BCCI pays a match fee of Rs 35,000 per day to domestic players. This is besides the gross revenue share (GRS). A player is likely to earn around Rs 2.5 lakhs per first-class match if they receive the GRS.
TOI spoke to a few captains of prominent state teams and understood that there is an underlying anxiety among senior domestic players who don’t have IPL contracts.
“BCCI had promised a significant raise in our earnings. But with the season set to be truncated this year, our earnings will be halved if there isn’t a hike,” a veteran domestic cricketer told TOI on Tuesday.
It will be interesting to see if there’s a significant rise in the pay of domestic cricketers if the central contracts come into being.
No captain-coaches conclave yet, players feel ignored
BCCI hasn’t conducted its annual captain-coaches conclave to chart the roadmap of its domestic season. The board usually holds the conclave by July to receive feedback and suggestions from the domestic players. The players are now feeling left out. “This upcoming season is going to be very tricky. With the pandemic dictating terms, there will be a lot of crucial changes. Players’ views and ambitions become very important now. This should ideally have been dealt by GM (cricket ops) Saba Karim and AGM KVP Rao. Now that Karim has tendered his resignation, Rao should address the issue as soon as possible,” a senior BCCI official told TOI.



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