Cricket Board (BCCI), flush with cash after signing multi-million dollar television marketing deals for the next four years, are looking at further boosting their revenues by inviting bids for marketing the boundary ropes which have not been done so far yet.
"So far the boundary ropes, covered with triangled boards carrying ads, have not been marketed and the BCCI aims to do so by inviting tenders," BCCI Executive Secretary In Charge Ratnakar Shetty said at a sports seminar organised by the Sports Journalists Federation of India in Mumbai on Wednesday.
"Since last December the Board has been finding new avenues to raise money and this is one of those ways," Shetty said.
While admitting cricket was getting a lot of attention from the media which other sports were not, the Board official said this was one of the reasons for the Sharad Pawar-led Board to create a corpus of Rs 50 crore initially, increased annually by a similar amount, by changing its constitution.
"We are also going to change the consititution further at the Chennai Special General Meeting (August 16) so that the Board can directly fund charitable causes instead of playing a match to raise funds."
"The Abu Dhabi series against Pakistan (in April last) realised USD 10 million out of which three-fourth (share) were given to the October 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan and the rest to the Indian victims in Kashmir," he said.
"A few years ago the domestic cricketers were getting Rs four thousand per day which has now increased to Rs 25,000 and this has resulted in players getting Rs one lakh per Ranji trophy tie (of four days duration)," he said.
"If a player is able to represent his association in seven Ranji ties in one year and if his association has roped in a team sponsor, like we at the Mumbai Cricket Association, has done, then the cricketer will make a cool Rs 10 or 12 lakh annually," he said.
"In fact, it would be more fruitful for a cricketer selected in an India team but kept in the reserves to play in domestic cricket as he would be paid higher," he said.
Shetty also said the contract system has taken away the feeling of uncertainty among players as even if the players are injured they are guaranteed the retainers whereas earlier they would not get anything if they don't play.
The BCCI official also highlighted the fact that almost all the Indian stadiums, including the Wankhede Stadium, do not measure up to the high standards being set by the International Cricket Council viz-a-viz spectators comfort, players dressing rooms, etc.
"I have just met our (MCA) president Sharad Pawar and we have talked about the need to revamp the Wankhede Stadium before the 2011 World Cup (to be hosted by the four full South Asian ICC members)," said Shetty, who is the tournament director of the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy in India.