‘DA a petty matter, CoA must look at real issues’

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India administrators are considering to slash down officials’ daily allowance on foreign tours. The board officials say the Committee of Administrators is raising petty issues, when it has failed to safeguard major interests of Indian cricket.

The BCCI officials, now virtually defunct say “let these 30-40 thousand rupee matters be for some other dates. Billions of dollars are snatched from you and you have miserably failed to safeguard Indian interests. Think of salvaging that burning situation first”.

“These administrators know the least about sports administration. The so-called governance are the least aware of sports governance. At home you show little respect for your body’s constitution, and at global forum you allow unlawful amendments to the world body’s constitution against your own interests,” says a senior BCCI official on condition of anonymity. “Please don’t befool cricket lovers, who have embraced this sport as a releigion.”

For numbers sake, a daily allowance for Rs 48,000 ($750) on foreign tours for officials and committee members may raise many an eyebrows. More so when a player is paid a mere Rs 8,000 ($ 125) – below 17% of officials’ official purse. The CoA and their team running the BCCI, is not at all happy about the ‘luxury enjoyed’ by the board officials. Plans are afoot to reduce the DA of board officials, says a Times of India report.

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Even state association representatives, who travel for special tournaments outside India, are paid Rs 32,000 ($500) per day . The board officials, who will be travelling to England for the Champions Trophy , will be paid a daily allowance of Rs 41,500 (£500) while the players will get Rs 10,500 (£125). Of course, the DA of players is over and above the match fees they get – Rs 15 lakh per Tests, Rs 6 lakh per ODI and Rs 3 lakh per T20I. The allowance for officials’ travel within India is Rs 30,000.

Players’ and officials’ allowances were revised by the BCCI’s general body through statutory amendments two years back – when officials’ DA was raised from Rs 32,000 to Rs 38,000. Players allowance then was enhanced from Rs 6,500 to Rs 8,000 per day.

The board officials are also entitled for first class air travel while the players get to travel business class. The question being raised within the board now is: How can the board officials, who are in honorary posts, not come under the purview of holding an office of profit after charging BCCI so much money ?

The answer is “What you are paying to us (the board officials) is not a professional fee. Officials’ overseas tours are of three-four-day duration. They travel as BCCI’s representatives. As BCCI’s ‘ambassadors’. Even their opportunity costs are not taken into consideration. Comparison with players is unfair in all aspects. Even an answer on this comparison will be unfair. But you must put things in perspective,” says a senior BCCI official on condition of anonymity. “When a board official travels with the team as a manager, he gets the same allowance as the players get.

“How can you compare boards officials’ and players’ pay allowances. The collective allowances BCCI president, secretary, joint secretary put together get annually won’t be closer to the annual retainer fee of a Category ‘C’ player. Your CEO draws rupees five crore in salaries, he too is paid same allowances as an honorary BCCI official. Don’t be selective in sharing the information,” says the BCCI official.

However, even if the officials’ daily allowances are slashed, they would still be paid more DA than the Indian team members. But the amount cannot be almost five times more than what players get. “Since the office-bearers are senior members of BCCI and are older than the cricketers, they could be allowed to get twice the amount than the players. But not five times more than the national cricketer. This has to be revised,” a member, responsible for running the affairs of BCCI, said, according to TOI.

“There is a set procedure and set policy for amendments. These are police matters,” says the senior board official. He further points out, “if you go by the Lodha Committee recommendations, a senior team management member should not be paid any fees at all as he had been a State cricket association office bearer. CoA cannot pick and choose as per its whims and fancies,” says the board.

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