BCCI conclave backs Harbhajan Singh’s proposal to hike match fees of domestic players
Harbhajan Singh’s proposal to hike the match fees of domestic players, especially those without an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract, received backing during the BCCI’s captains and coaches conclave at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Harbhajan had written to India coach Anil Kumble and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to look into the fee structure at the first-class level where the remuneration has not been hiked for nearly a decade.
“Everyone has urged the BCCI to look into the matter. As compared to domestic cricketers in England and Australia, we cannot make a living from the match fees we get from domestic games. Not everyone plays the IPL. It is important to ensure that even a domestic cricketer can live a good life,” said the captain of a team.
It is learnt that CoA members Diana Edulji and Ramchandra Guha were in favour of implementing the suggestion. BCCI acting president CK Khanna and secretary Amitabh Choudhary were also present at the conclave. The suggestions will be forwarded to the BCCI’s technical committee headed by Sourav Ganguly.
The house was almost unanimous on doing away with neutral venues, introduced last year. “There were enough negative remarks about the new concept. A majority of teams had issues with neutral venues. There was hardly anyone in the room who was happy with it. We have requested to go back to the home-away system,” said the captain of a Ranji team.
The neutral venue system was introduced to counter pitch doctoring. “There were various suggestions. There was even a discussion on doing away with toss,” he said. Some states suggested stricter guidelines for pitch preparation and negative points system to make the contest more result-oriented.
Umpiring standards in domestic matches again came under scrutiny. Many teams expressed displeasure over the poor standards. “There is always endless discussion when it comes to umpiring standards. It needs to improve,” said a captain, who urged the BCCI to re-introduce the captain’s report.
“Umpires can fine the players for even a small mistake, but the error an umpire makes does not come to light since the BCCI discontinued the captain’s report policy. We have asked it to be reviewed,” he said.
There was also a suggestion to allow players not contracted with IPL teams to play in foreign T20 leagues and domestic championships in other states.