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BCCI richer, players not so lucky

The richest cricket board in the world has the poorest record when it comes to sticking to its financial commitments, writes Amol Karhadkar.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 16:56 IST

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is getting richer, but domestic players’ pockets are not getting heavier.

How exactly is this happening? While the BCCI has stuck to its policy of distributing 26 per cent of its annual income equally among players, the board has simply changed the definition of ‘income’ such that only 30 per cent of its revenues from TV rights count. Predictably, domestic players are the only ones affected.

Hence, while BCCI’s total revenues have risen from Rs 199 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 850 crore in 2005-06, domestic players are still not getting what was promised. International players, though, have contracts that are being adhered to.

Prior to 2004-05, BCCI would pay each domestic player Rs 4,000 per day as match allowance. From that year, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah promised to raise the amount by Rs 50,000 per match, thus taking a player’s earnings over a four-day match to Rs 66,000.

For the next year, it was supposed to get even better. “For 2005-06,” Shah had told HT, “the daily allowance will be increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 20,000 per day.” This would have taken a player’s earnings to Rs 80,000 per match.

However, HT verified from players across zones that though the BCCI fulfilled its promise for 2004-05, they have received only the Rs 4,000 daily allowance for 2005-06.

BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Prof Ratnakar Shetty told HT that the board’s accounts were yet to be ratified and players would be paid once that happened. However, Shetty said players won’t be paid the Rs 80,000 per match Shah had promised. What they will receive “is more or less the same, if not more than what they got for 2004-05”. That’s Rs 66,000.

BCCI sources, who declined to be named, said the ‘decrease’ in income was responsible.

It was the Jagmohan Dalmiya regime that formulated a policy in 2003 that 26 per cent of BCCI’s annual revenue would be distributed among players. Of this, half would go to international cricketers and the rest to domestic players.

In 2004-05, the Dalmiya regime’s last year, BCCI’s annual revenue was Rs 199 crore. So, Rs 52 crore was distributed among cricketers.

In 2005-06, BCCI earned five times more. Major deals with the likes of Nimbus and Nike pushed its income to Rs 850 crore. That left Rs 221 crore to be distributed among players.

But that’s not what happened, thanks to a new policy introduced this year. It states that 70 per cent of the amount it gets from TV rights, the main source of money, would be distributed among affiliated units. Only the remaining 30 per cent would be treated as its income. Hence, players would get 26 per cent only from this reduced base.

Email: amol.karhadkar@hindustantimes.com