Bihar cricketers await two-years pending payment from BCCI; struggle in Covid-19 crisis

Bihar cricketers await two-years pending payment from BCCI; struggle in Covid-19 crisis
Bihar cricketers await two-years pending payment from BCCI; struggle in Covid-19 crisis

Bihar cricketers await two-years pending payment from BCCI; Bihar’s U-19 and U-23 cricketers are in the lurch failing to receive payments from BCCI spanning over two years.

Prashant Singh, a 21-year-old fast bowler from Bihar, has not been paid match fees by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the last two seasons. With the pandemic raging across the country, Prashant is worried about treatment costs for his elder brother who is Covid-19 positive and isolating at home in Chhapra. His mother too is finding it difficult to breathe.

Prashant, an Under-23 cricketer, is the sole breadwinner in his family. He isn’t the only player from Bihar who is unpaid.

Cricketers from the state’s Under-23, the Under-19 and the senior team await payment from the BCCI for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season.

The BCCI has also dragged its feet on the compensation package for players, announced in December by its secretary Jay Shah, following a truncated season minus the Ranji Trophy.

At the same time, Bihar players have been waiting for match fees.

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The reason for the delay, according to a senior BCA official, was ‘error in vouchers’ submitted by the state unit to the BCCI. BCA president Rakesh Tiwary claimed the vouchers have been forwarded to the BCCI once again. A senior BCCI official said they would have to scrutinise the documents again before releasing payments.

“We had earlier sent invoices to BCCI but they informed us that there was an error in the documentation. All the invoices have been sent again (in March) and payment will be received soon,” Tiwary said.

As a result of this administrative impasse, the players have been left in the lurch.

Prashant says Bihar Cricket Association officials, who have been wrangling, continue to make empty promises.

“We have been hearing this for the last one year. ‘Money will be deposited next month’ is what we are told. Our financial situation is dire at the moment,” Prashant said.

Match fees for cricketers vary for each format. A cricketer is paid approximately Rs 40,000 per day for the Ranji Trophy, which was not conducted last season.