The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) brass have become such masters at exploiting the existing market demand for cricket, that the cash registers just keep ringing. Usually, any talk of cricket’s riches is followed by complaints and envy from the bodies governing other sports in India.
The cricket board is now in such good financial health — and the deals they have made are all long-term — that this will ensure that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. So, they can afford to give Rs 25 crore to support other sports.
What’s more, after India’s success at Beijing, Sharad Pawar has given an additional Rs 50 crore for the development of other sports. With the Commonwealth Games on the horizon, it’s high time other federations took a leaf out of the cricket board’s dynamic marketing strategies, instead of merely complaining.
In 2007-08 for instance, the BCCI’s income went past Rs 1000 crore in a year for the first time in its 79-year history. To be precise, the board took in Rs 1000.41 crore, a whopping 46% increase from 2006-07 when their earnings were 651.81 crore. Compare the annual earnings of the BCCI with the annual budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, of approximately Rs 400 crore, and you get the picture.
While the bulk of this increase has come in the form of media rights — 559.31 crore (up from 313.62 crore) there have been significant increases from other sources as well. Take for example the investments the BCCI made and the interest income generated from the same. The BCCI now has Rs 1195 crore in fixed deposits, and earned Rs 76.15 crore in interest in 2007-08, an increase of more than 50% from Rs 50.31 crore in the previous year. The surplus generated from tours is up to 226.73 crore from an earlier 214.66 crore.
To the average person, a crore is merely a figure and an extra couple of zeroes at the end don’t really make a big difference. What does one make then, of these mind-boggling numbers?
Well, to start with, it means a substantial increase in pay for players, who are at the very centre of generating these sums of money. The BCCI spends 26% of its top line on the payment of player wages, both domestic and international. Of this, 13% goes to the payment of wages of international cricketers. A total of Rs 66 crore will be paid out to those who play for the senior national team, up from Rs 43 crore. A similar amount is spent on pa-ying the wages of domestic cr-icketers – and since the numbe-rs are larger the share of the pie is less – working out to Rs 37,000 per day of domestic cricket.
Add to this a three-year 313 crore spend on infrastructure development, a pension scheme that covers more than 860 former players, umpires and widows of former players and annual subventions to state associations, and you have a whole lot of people who are benefiting from the cricket windfall. The annual subvention (shared by the 20-plus state associations) increased to Rs 371.89 crore, and this does not even include the money that will come their way from the sale of IPL franchisees. A full 70% of the money the BCCI got from the sale of franchisees, amounting to Rs 203 crore, will also be divided up among the state associations.
N Srinivasan, who has been treasurer of the board for the last three years, will relinquish office this weekend at the board’s Annual General Meeting in Mumbai. He will do so in the full knowledge that financially the board is in the pink of health.