Senior women cricketers may see their match earnings rise to Rs 12,500 per day — they now get Rs 3,500. (Representational)
A CASH WINDFALL could be in store for women cricketers, Test specialists and domestic players who miss out on fat IPL deals, if a move proposed by BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry at the board’s financial committee meeting Friday gets the final seal. According to a BCCI official, the expected financial shake-up will see senior men cricketers, who feature in tournaments such as Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy, getting Rs 25,000 in daily match fee, up from Rs 10,000. Senior women cricketers may see their match earnings rise to Rs 12,500 per day — they now get Rs 3,500.
It is learnt that the committee may make a few structural changes to the new revenue distribution model and review it before it is sent to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). After the sparkling show by the women’s team at the World Cup earlier this year, there have been calls for gender equality in the sport. The latest proposals have hiked the annual retainership fees for women cricketers: Rs 50 lakh each for the four players in Grade A, Rs 30 lakh each for the six players in Grade B and Rs 15 lakh for the 10 players in Grade C. As of now, the women get Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh each in two categories.
Sources said the proposal aims to address the financial imbalance created by IPL auctions, where Test specialists go unsold and uncapped Twenty20 specialists pocket big amounts. For instance, one of India’s best batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara, went unsold in the last IPL auction and utilised the time to gain experience in English county cricket. If the latest proposal is approved, he stands to gain Rs 2 crore — as much as his annual retainership in a Grade A contract. A Grade B Player who goes unsold at the auction will get Rs 1 crore.
The money would be made available from a proposed Test Player Fund, said sources. According to the proposal, there will be a cap on the IPL fee for uncapped Indian and foreign cricketers. An IPL franchise can bid more than the prescribed limit, but the player will not receive more than the cap — the remaining cash will go to the Test Player Fund. This, the proposal says, will prevent youngsters from opting for the cash-rich T20 league over First-Class cricket.
The proposal also aims to raise the remuneration for umpires across the board. Umpires in the Elite and ICC panels will see their daily match fee increase by Rs 5,000 to reach Rs 20,000. Those in the BCCI panel will get Rs 15,000, while the remuneration for match referees will be doubled to Rs 20,000 per day. Fees for scorers and video analysts will also see a substantial hike.
The BCCI’s media rights are expected to be renewed shortly, with the board expecting a substantial increase over the existing deal. However, the proposed payment structure does not consider the revenue stream from the IPL, whose media rights went for more than Rs 16,000 crore for a five-year period.