BCCI hasn’t paid players’ wages for 10 months
Remember the glorious night of NatWest final? Cricketers weren’t even paid for that
New Delhi, March 29: Everyone talks about the money Indian cricketers make but here is the other side of the story. India’s cricketing heroes have not been paid their salaries for the past 10 months.
The cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) owes each player around Rs 1 crore (Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh each for the last five tours). The BCCI has held back payments to the overworked cricketers citing its own sponsorship problems.
The team is yet to be paid its tour fee for the England tour of four Tests, the NatWest Series of One-Day matches between June and September 2002, the ICC Champions’ Trophy in Sri Lanka in September, the West Indies tour of India consisting of three Test matches and seven ODIs in October-November 2002, the Indian tour of New Zealand with two Test matches and seven ODIs in December-January and the just-concluded World Cup.
When contacted, Kishore Rungta, treasurer of the BCCI, told The Sunday Express:‘‘The delay in payment to the players is actually an accounting delay. It is not a matter of public debate.’’
The official reason for the BCCI’s failure to clear the dues is its own dispute with Trans World International (TWI). The BCCI is still awaiting the logo fees. ‘‘The tour fee for players is around Rs 3 lakh to 4 lakh per player per tour, the real money comes from the logo fees that BCCI receives. We give 60 per cent of it to the players while retaining 40 per cent. This could work out to Rs 15 lakh to 20 lakh per player for each tour,’’ Rungta explained on the phone from Jaipur.
Rungta said that it was during the Indian tour of England in June last year that the logo troubles hit BCCI. TWI was the agent for the Indian team, handling corporate sponsors. ‘‘Some dues have to be paid by the Sahara Group which is why payments to players are stuck,’’ Rungta said. He said that after the England tour, TWI pulled out and the team had no sponsor for the ICC Championship Trophy in September.
‘‘Dalmiya is personally handling this problem now. When the year-end pre-occupation in his own businesses is over on March 31, we hope to resolve the problems... by the second week of April,’’ Rungta said.
Rungta also said that the BCCI was unable to make up its mind on whether to pay players in anticipation of the disputes being settled or wait for the money to physically be realised by the BCCI before it paid the team.
When contacted, TWI Joint Director Ravi Krishnan said: ‘‘I’m not aware of any such thing. I have no comment to make.’’
The players have decided to keep quiet about it. Rajiv Shukla, who handles the communications and coordination of the Indian team, too refused to comment on behalf of the players. But now, how can anyone complain when they pose for cola and bicycles?