Contracts to be revised on juniors' demands

Published: Friday, July 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Dambulla :Resistance from relatively junior players is expected to lead to substantial changes in the payments to be offered to India's top cricketers under the annual central contracts.

The figures doing the round here suggest Rs 50 lakh for grade A cricketers, Rs 35 lakh for the next grade players and Rs 20 lakh for the bottom-rung performers. The contracts are expected to be signed after the cricketers return from the Asia Cup tournament.

This is a revision from the stated position of Rs 60, 30 and 15 lakh which the cricketers and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had agreed to last month after which the copy of formal contracts was handed over to players in Chennai last week.

This change is being considered because a few players are not happy with the terms of the deal and the money which has been put on the stake bar, according to informed sources.

A couple of cricketers felt there was too much of a gap between the money offered for the successive grades. They were also not sure whether the criteria of performance and not seniority was the right way to go about it. They also felt the figure of 50 per cent for non-playing players was too less.

If it surprised the Board, it absolutely stumped the senior players who were involved in negotiations for the central contracts for over two years and had hammered out a great deal of financial and legal interpretations.

BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had to hastily cancel the gradation committee meeting in Kolkata on July 9 after a very senior cricketer informed him they needed more time to put it in place.

The three senior players actively involved in negotiations had little idea that their juniors were not happy with the contract and it stumped them when their stand was conveyed to them at the very last minute.

Since then the players have recovered from the loss of face in front of the Board and thrashed out a process which has found support from all the cricketers.

In this worked-out solution, the seniors have taken the lead by letting go Rs 10 lakh from their proposed annual retainer and splitting it equally between the Grade B and C cricketers.

Though the gradation committee meeting is yet to take place and the names of cricketers in different categories yet to be decided, it is learnt the senior cricketers have proposed eight cricketers for grade A and six each for subsequent categories.

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