Windfall for domestic cricketers in the offing

Published: Friday, May 7, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :In a bonanza for top cricketers participating in domestic tournaments, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to give them a ten-fold hike and pay up to Rs 52,000 for each match.

BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya said in New Delhi that the cricketers at the domestic level will get the enhanced payments when the graded system of payment comes into effect, most probably by the end of this month.

"We have been working on it for the last one and half years. Not much work is left, may be a week's concentration is required. We hope to get it signed by the end of this month," said Dalmiya.

As of now, cricketers taking part in domestic tournaments get Rs 5,000 per match and the revised formula under the graded payment system represents a ten-fold hike. However, this will not be applicable to international cricketers who will have a different scale.

Elaborating on the payment structure, Dalmiya said, "Those playing all the matches at the domestic level will get Rs 52,000 as per the revised formula and players playing upto qualifying rounds will get Rs 35,000 per match".

He said the international cricketers will be divided into three categories depending on their seniority and all the three categories will have different annual contractual payments.

"The gradation system is something which is on our priority list. We have had discussions with the senior players and it is just a matter of time before we can implement it," he said.

For several years, Indian cricketers have been demanding regular contracts so that injured players are not left without any income, a system which has been adopted by most of the top-ranked cricketing nations. In India, as of now, injured players do not receive wages for matches they miss.

The graded system will provide the senior cricketers more money based on the number of Tests and One-dayers they have played. The Board also has plans of selecting a national pool comprising 20 cricketers who would be offered the contracts.

Dalmiya said that the BCCI had earmarked 26 per cent of its earnings for paying the players. Of the 26 per cent, 13 per cent has been reserved for international cricketers, 10.4 per cent for domestic players and 2.6 per cent for juniors.

"We feel that the new system will go a long way in removing the disparities. The domestic players can earn a lot more now, it will help them a lot," he said.

The Board has also decided to provide more financial incentives to under-15 players besides offering them scholarship and equipment. "The under-15 players will also get more money apart from scholarships. We have decided to keep some funds for that purpose. It will serve as an incentive for parents."

Dalmiya said the Board has already implemented the pension scheme for players and umpires who have played or officiated in Test matches. The players and umpires will get Rs 5000 per month as part of the pension scheme.

In case of a player suffering from a terminal disease, the Board would provide reimbursement upto Rs three lakhs. "Some of the former players may not need the money, but those who need, need it badly. So we want to help them as much as possible."

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