The Apex Council meeting held by the BCCI has made 2 key decisions in the meeting. While one of them was regarding the Olympics, where the BCCI would be offering 10 Crores for the training and promotion of the Olympics, the second one was the formation of a committee for the compensation scheme for domestic cricketers.
A massive challenge for the BCCI, as Covid -19 has wrecked the livelihood of many domestic cricketers in the country. The press release stated, “The Apex Council has decided to form a committee to look into the issue of compensation for Indian domestic cricketers for domestic season 2020 and 2021. The Apex Council has mandated the Office Bearers of BCCI to form the committee and find a suitable compensatory mechanism for domestic cricketers, at the earliest possible.”
Cricketers of all 38 BCCI affiliated state – associations have suffered a significant loss of income as they watched their income go from an average of 15-16 lakh across the country to only 3-4 Lakh. Covid -19 lead to the cancellation of almost all competitions domestically except the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Players without IPL contracts or sports-quota government jobs have suffered the most. According to ESPNCricInfo, players have even tried securing a contract in England for the short term for some “guaranteed income.”
The announcement will be the first major step towards ensuring that a payment plan is in place in the absence of any form of long-form cricket in the country since March 2020.
“My biggest priority will be to look after first-class cricketers,” Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, had said in late 2019 when he joined the BCCI. “I have been requesting that to the CoA [the Committee of Administrators, appointed by the Supreme Court of India] for three years. That’s the first thing I will do, look after the financial health of our first-class cricketers.”
Nearly 18 months on, no state association has implemented player contracts for domestic cricketers. Although, Punjab and Uttarakhand had announced plans to put in a system that would take care of their players.
BCCI has taken on the big step to bring a solution to the problem. The unformed committee will have the biggest challenge in Indian cricket as it tries to bring some form of a fixed income program for nearly 800 cricketers across the country who have waited over a year and a half to see some action in this department.