Playing first class cricket may not become economically viable for women cricketers. To the extent that they don’t end up paying from their own pocket for the pride of playing for their State. There may well be considerably lucrative revenues for donning India colours.
Cheteshwar Pujaras of men’s cricketing world may feel the financial pinch for not being picked by an Indian Premier League franchisee for being considered good enough for conventional Test cricket, but not the tamasha and razzmatazz of the rapid fire version of the game.
BCCI’s officiating treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary has mooted a proposal to address these concerns. He has also proposed to board’s financial committee to substantially raise the match fee of women’s first class cricketers, senior male cricketers, umpires, match referees and other match officials.
The recommendations will only be sent to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators for the final nod after a clearance from the finance committee.
The recommendations propose a daily match fee INR 25,000 and INR 12,500 for senior male and female cricketers for the domestic first class matches. If cleared, this will mean the senior male cricketers playing Ranji, Duleep, Deodhar and other national championship will get an increase of INR 15,000 over the INR 10,000 they presently receive for each match day. The women cricketers, who are at presently paid INR 3,500 per match day, will be getting a hike of INR 9,000.
Suggestion is also made to address the calls for better payment structure for the women cricketers representing India. The BCCI treasurer has proposed INR 50 lakh each in annual retainer ship for the top four women players in Grade A. The proposal for the next six players in Grade B is INR 30 lakh each per annum, and INR 15 lakh per annum for the 10 players in Grade C. Presently, the women players are getting an annual retainership of INR 15 lakh and INR 10 lakh each in two categories.
There is also a proposal to address the concerns of test specialists that go unsold in the IPL even as the uncapped Twenty-20 specialists pocket big amounts, Indian Express has reported quoting sources. Like a batsman of Cheteshwar Pujara’s stature and calibre went unsold in the last IPL auction and went to play English county cricket for exposure and match practice. If the proposal is approved, he stands to gain INR 2 crore as his annual retainership for the Grade A contract. An unsold player contracted in Grade A may get INR 1 crore if he doesn’t get an IPL contract.
Interestingly enough, the payment to these unsold players will have no additional burden on the BCCI balance sheet. There is proposal to create Test Player Fund. It is recommended to have a IPL fee cap for the uncapped Indian and foreign cricketers. An IPL franchise though will have the liberty of bidding for more than the prescribed limit for a player, but any bid amount over and above the limit will not go to the player. Instead, it will be sent to the Test Player Fund. This, the proposal says, will prevent youngsters from opting for the cash-rich T-20 league over First-Class cricket.
Umpires, referees and other match officials also stand to gain from the new proposals. Umpires in the Elite and ICC panels may get a daily match fee increase of INR 5,000 and get INR 20,000 per day. The BCCI panel umpires may start getting INR 15,000 daily, while match referees fee is proposed to be doubled to INR 20,000 per day. Substantial hike is also proposed for the scorers and video analysts.