Come November 1, players will have one more incentive to do well in domestic cricket.
Beginning with the Ranji Trophy, every senior game will have a Man-of-the-Match award constituting R25,000.
“The award has been introduced as part of our deal with Airtel for supporting domestic cricket,” Ratnakar Shetty, the chief administrative officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told the Hindustan Times from Mumbai on Friday.
Bharti Airtel recently won series sponsorship rights to all international matches to be played in India till 2013, having earlier sponsored the Champions League T20 tournament.
“The match referee in consultation with the two umpires will select the Man of the Match. Every senior match will have this award of R 25,000,” Shetty added.
Match referees are now posted at all BCCI matches, including junior and women's.
A miscommunication within the board has meant that Man-of-Match awards are being announced even at the East Zone T20 matches here, but Shetty clarified that the award will be introduced from the first round of Ranji Trophy matches, which will begin on November 1.
“We will inform the match referees and the umpires at the matches concerned,” he said.
“The All-India knockout stage of the Twenty20 tournament, which is played for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will have Man-of-the Match awards,” Shetty added. That tournament is scheduled towards the end of the season, in March 2011.
Ever since the Indian Cricket League (ICL) lured away players with hefty annual pay packets about three years ago, BCCI has made an effort to make the domestic circuit more lucrative.
The ICL is now consigned to history and the board's version of it, the Indian Premier League (IPL), has made multi-millionaires out of a lot of cricketers. Still there are lots of players in the domestic circuit who will welcome the chance to win R25,000 in every game they take part in.