Kapil Dev's sacking as the chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) made the biggest news after the BCCI special general body meeting, but there were other, bigger decisions taken on Tuesday.
The BCCI constitution has been amended to facilitate the appointment of a president-elect in next month's AGM, to "display greater continuity".
As expected, the BCCI punished the players, past and present, who have dared to defy its diktats to associate with the ICL — and handed out rewards to the players who have decided to stay within the fold. The match fees for first-class cricketers have been raised significantly, making the game very attractive even at the domestic level.
All resolutions in the meeting were passed unanimously. Kapil also had to give up his post in the Cricket Advisory Committee, which was formed after India's World Cup debacle. Ajay Shirke, the vice-chairman of the NCA, will serve as the chairman till the AGM on September 28, when the new chairman and board of directors will be appointed.
BCCI treasurer N Srinivasan, making the announcements, said: "Anyone who is associated with unapproved tournaments will not be entitled to any benefit. It is the players who have decided to join the unapproved tournaments. Once the player has made his choice, he is there."
Carrot and stick
That was the stick, now for the carrot. The BCCI's surplus funds have risen to Rs 232 crore, and the rise is reflected in the players' fees. In the senior domestic tournaments, players will receive around Rs 26,000 per playing day for the year 2006-07. The figure is likely to go up to Rs 36,000 per day for the current season.
The prize money for various tournaments conducted by the BCCI has also been raised, from a total of Rs 60 lakh to 4.2 crore. The Ranji Trophy winners would now get Rs 50 lakh (up from Rs 7 lakh) and the Duleep Trophy winners will gain Rs 30 lakh (up from Rs 5 lakh). These prizes come into effect retrospectively from 2005-06 season. Srinivasan also said that selectors would continue to be appointed on a zonal basis and that a selector's term could be for a maximum of 4 years. The BCCI also allowed selectors to remain members of the managing committee of an association.
"The selectors will become fully-paid from September 2008 and the criteria will be monitored from time-to-time," said Srinivasan. Another resolution that was passed was that except Delhi, no other Union Territory would be given membership. "All other Union Territories will be attached to the geographically closest full member," said Srinivasan.
Doubts over the affiliation of the Railways arose because of Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav saying that their grounds would be available for the ICL, but the question was tactfully tackled by Srinivasan. "All the members of the BCCI voted unanimously and the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) representative was also present," he said.
The representative was Rakesh Yadav, the RSPB secretary. A BCCI source said later "we don't have to go by what the minister says. We go by what the Railways representative says."