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Won’t sacrifice India’s riches in world cricket, vow BCCI administrators

The Committee of Administrators, managing the Board of Control for Cricket in India, promises not to give an inch when the ICC reveals its new financial model come April

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2017 22:23 IST
Soumitra Bose
BCCI
Vinod Rai (L), Diana Edulji (centre), Vikram Limaye (R) and Ramachandra Guha (not in picture) had been appointed by the Supreme Court in the four-member Committee of Administrators earlier this year.(PTI)

The Committee of Administrators (COA), constituted by the Supreme Court to run the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), cautioned the International Cricket Council (ICC) that it will not accept a financial model that would hurt India’s interest.

Headed by the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai, the four-member COA has Vikram Limaye, the Chief Executive Officer of India’s National Stock Exchange, as a member. With two financial wizards in its team, the BCCI is confident that it would retain its financial grip on world cricket.

“Will get what we deserve,” said Rai in a chat with journalists here on Wednesday. “Won’t sacrifice India’s riches,” added historian Ramachandra Guha, another member of the COA.

India’s objection to ICC’s new financial model was a setback to Shashank Manohar, who shockingly quit his post as ICC first independent chairman just 10 months into the job.

Read more | BCCI doubles player pay: 2 crore for Dhoni, Virat Kohli; Suresh Raina loses out

Manohar’s new model, based on equality, may have been populist, but the BCCI administrators seem to have played their cards well to eliminate any loss in revenue.

Rai hinted that India will not stop short of playing power games if required. “We don’t want to be confrontationist and play politics but if it needs to be played, we won’t be found wanting,” the chief administrator said.

“India can’t afford to lose money and help in development of the game,” said Rai, who added that Afghanistan and Ireland will get BCCI’s support to develop their cricket.

On Wednesday, the BCCI doubled annual retainer fees to its contracted players. Grade A players will get an assured Rs 2 crore while Grade B and C would be guaranteed Rs 1 crore and 50 lakh, respectively. “It was about time the contracts were reviewed,” said Rai.

Closer home, the COA warned state units, still opposing the Lodha reforms, to see the “writing on the wall.”

Read more | Saurashtra sought IPL funds despite having more than Rs. 250 crore in bank: COA

The COA has published the BCCI’s draft constitution this week on the Board’s website and has set itself an October 2017 deadline to enforce the Supreme Court-endorsed reforms suggested by the Lodha committee.

Rai said the 50-day journey so far has been “excellent” and “difficulties were lesser than what we thought it would be.”

Rai clearly warned that “defiance” will have no place in the COA’s scheme of things.

“If we have to attain an objective, it has to be done in stages. Our first steps have been good and should anyone refuse, we will be forced to work out a roadmap,” the COA said, adding: “persuasion” will be the key to change.