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Indian cricket players deserve better pay, rest: BCCI administrator Vinod Rai

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri met the Committee of Administrators (CoA) head Vinod Rai and have been promised better pay and scheduling in principle.

cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2017 22:01 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,MS Dhoni,Ravi Shastri
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri met the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss salaries and the Indian cricket team’s schedule for the next few years. (AFP)

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) agreed in principle to the demand of Indian players seeking a pay hike as well as restricting the number of days of international cricket in a year to 90 to check player burnout.

The CoA head Vinod Rai met India skipper Virat Kohli, ex-skipper MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri here on Thursday. “It was a fruitful discussion and the players appreciated that they are being heard unlike during previous dispensation, when it was usually a one-way traffic,” Rai told Hindustan Times before confirming that their views of a pay hike have been taken into consideration.

(Read | Why shouldn’t Indian cricket team players get paid more, asks Sourav Ganguly)

“It was encouraging to see the trio being considerate to mid-level players. The pyramid we are envisaging isn’t sharp and tall, it takes everyone’s demands into consideration,” he said.

Pay hike has been a burning issue. The Board had made it clear earlier that it will not go beyond the 26% of its revenues earmarked for players. If the increments are done, then the Board may have to increase players’ share from the 26% or otherwise eat into domestic/junior/women players’ share which comprise half of that 26%. If it decides on the former then revenue of state bodies will have to be reduced, something the associations and the top three board officials are against. “We have not worked out the numbers but the fact is that they are the biggest stakeholders,” added Rai.

(Read | BCCI’s anti-corruption unit is a powerless body: Mukul Mudgal)

The Future Tours Programme (FTP) was also discussed. Kohli had made it clear that he’d like less international games. Both Rai and BCCI president CK Khanna had backed him. “We have agreed to restrict the number of days of international cricket to 90 days, excluding the years of ICC events. The players’ demand will be discussed at the ICC meeting on FTP in Singapore on December 7-8,” said Rai.

The BCCI officials have been maintaining that policy decisions lie with them as against CoA’s view that the Supreme Court has given Rai’s panel complete authority. A top board official told Hindustan Times on Thursday, “These are general body decisions and lie with the board, not CoA.”

Rai, however, said, “The meeting had to be held because the board SGM is on December 11 and we have to attend the FTP meeting before that.” The SGM was initially slotted for December 1. However, board officials expressed their inability to attend on various days till the 10th.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 20:34 IST