MUMBAI: When he took over as Indian cricket board (BCCI) president, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had assured that he would improve the pay structure of domestic cricketers. However, the coronavirus outbreak and the national lockdown seem to have multiplied the woes of those who ply their trade in India’s first-class and List A circuit.
A large number domestic cricketers TOI spoke to admitted on condition of anonymity that they had not received their match fee for the Ranji Trophy and Mushtaq Ali T20 tournaments for the last domestic season, which ended in March.
A player gets around Rs 35,000 per day match fee for the Ranji Trophy and Rs 17,500 per game in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. If a cricketer features in a full season of Ranji Trophy (around nine games), he could make around Rs 13 lakh, a fee many players have not received this season.
According to sources, players from Mumbai, Maharashtra, Bengal and Tripura and many other domestic teams have still not received this year’s match fees. In Maharashtra’s case, it has nothing to do with the BCCI’s affiliate’s financial worries – the Gahunje stadium, constitutional problems or court cases. The BCCI just hasn’t paid them for reasons best known to it alone.

“We haven’t received our match fees for the 2019-20 season,” said a Maharashtra player. “We also haven’t received the revenue component for the last three seasons.” Other players also backed this claim.
Domestic players receive two components in remuneration directly from the BCCI via online transactions. The first is a fixed match fee depending on number of matches played. The second is connected to the BCCI’s yearly revenue which is calculated later.
Due to lack of pre-season cricket activity and clarity about the next domestic season, players are confined to their homes and are staring at an uncertain future. The lack of payments from the BCCI has added to their problems.
To make matters worse, a key component called the Gross Revenue Share (GRS), which is also due to domestic players apart from match fees, has been pending since the 2016-17 season. GRS is essentially a share given to the domestic players from the BCCI’s earning out of its substantial TV telecast deals for the IPL and home season.
“Around a month back, we were asked to raise an invoice for the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 season. We haven’t received any payment from the BCCI, but we’ve started paying GST because we raised an invoice,” a player told TOI.
This GRS payment due to a player is as much as his daily match fee, so one can get an idea how eagerly the players would be waiting for this sum. “All this money could’ve helped us sail through the lockdown. The BCCI and the state associations must realise that we’ve already lost out on the chance to go overseas and play and earn money this season. There’s no clarity on the IPL, and may domestic players don’t play in it. So, many players depend on domestic match fee for their survival,” said a player.
On its part, the BCCI has clarified that it is remitting dues to the players at a fast pace. “The technical issue could be that we may not have received the invoices from some state associations. We have even released the prize money for winning the Ranji Trophy (Rs 2 crore) to Saurashtra and Bengal (Rs 1 cr) for finishing as the runners-up in that competition. Now, the Ranji final in March was the last domestic game of the season. There must be some technical issues with regards to verification (of the invoices received from the state associations), otherwise we have released payments of all the domestic players after receiving invoices from the respective state units,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told TOI.
“If you send me the specific details, I can find out from the office, otherwise there’s been no delay from our side, even though it wasn’t possible for our staff to go to the office because of the lockdown and things did become slow due to it,” he added.
Regarding the GRS due to the players, Dhumal said: “The balance sheet for 2017-18 was finalized very late. Then, there was a lockdown. Again, the players may have given the invoices to the state associations, who may not have given it to us so far.”
(With inputs from Amol Gokhale in Pune)



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