Domestic cricketers have reason to be more motivated when they play the Ranji Trophy this season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its working committee meeting on Thursday raised the prize money for the national champions to Rs 2 crore, from 60 lakh in the previous season. The runners-up would be richer by a crore with the losing semi-finalists getting Rs 50 lakh each.
The entire amount will go to the team members after tax deduction. "The association doesn't get a share in the prize money. This has always been the practice," confirmed a top BCCI official.
"It's a very, very good incentive to win the Ranji Trophy. It's our biggest tournament and the players are going to work hard," said Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer, who led his team to the title last season.
"For domestic players, nothing is bigger than the Ranji Trophy and the rise in prize money will drive the players to do better," said Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath.
A day after the finance committee chairman Rajiv Shukla said that the All India Football Federation's stand-in president Praful Patel had requested for a grant of Rs 25 crore, the working committee approved it. The BCCI will release Rs 12.5 crore this year and the same amount next year to assist Indian football.
The BCCI has also welcomed all those who have severed ties with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) with the exception of those alleged to have been involved in match-fixing. Punjab's Dinesh Mongia is caught in a tangle and has not been included among the probables for the coming season.
The ex-ICL players are eligible to play in the 2010 Indian Premier League within a salary range of Rs 8 and 20 lakh. The domestic players will not be put on auction and only the foreigners, like Shane Bond of New Zealand, will be up for auction.