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COA receives proposal to hike fees of central contract players

Vinod Rai
Supreme Court appoints former CAG Vinod Rai to head BCCI. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In an attempt to bridge the gap between the IPL riches and the central contracts, the COA or the Committee of Administrators have received a proposal to hike the fees of the central contract players. As per the current rules, the central contract top grade players get INR 1 crore. Now, as per the new proposal, the demand is to hike that fee to INR 5 crore. This comes at a time when uncapped players are pocketing big money in IPL. At the same time, the players of longer formats do not get the same money.

It comes as a very surprising thing to see an international Test player like Cheteshwar Pujara get 1 crore from his national contract. He, however, went unsold in the IPL auctions. At the same time, other players like T Natarajan, who have a handful of First Class matches to their names, have bagged over 2 crore in the IPL auctions. This disparity is a very good example why the COA has received this proposal.

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If the current establishments continue, the players will not be motivated enough to play the longer formats but be attracted to the cash rich IPL and the shorter format. Currently, Grade A players get INR 1 Crore, Grade B players get INR 60 Lakh and Grade C players get INR 35 Lakh.

“It is a novel proposal as it will mean that youngsters who are getting such massive salaries from IPL franchises realise that the real cricket is beyond the Rs 2 crore that they earn for 45 days. Not every cricketer has multi-million endorsement deals. The real incentive should be playing Test cricket,” one of the BCCI sources quoted to PTI.

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The BCCI source further added that not all national players have brand endorsements. Citing the example of Pujara again, he might not be the best man for a fancy deal, but one cannot take away the fact that he is one of the top batsmen in the country.

“As a brand, it is Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who are marketable stars among the current players as far as TV Commercials are concerned. It is very difficult to find brands consistently for a Pujara or say an Umesh Yadav. But they are performers in their own rights. Not everyone will remain marketable once their 10-15 year career is over. If BCCI is able to provide that cushion, there is no harm,” he added.

Another example to show the same disparity is of Gujarat opener Priyank Panchal. Panchal finished as the top run getter of the Ranji Trophy 2016-17 season. However, he found no takers in the IPL auctions. At the same time, there were other players, who had barely represented their state teams in the recent past but still managed to strike big deals. The players will only hope that the COA considers the proposal and makes necessary arrangements.

“There is a Delhi player, who has been picked by Gujarat Lions for Rs 10 lakh. It’s the lowest base price. But this boy has failed to make it to the Delhi T20 playing XI post 2014. So where did he perform and make a case for himself? And what exactly is the message that you are sending to a Priyank Panchal, who has close to 1500 runs this first-class season. You are bracketing him as a First Class player,” one of the former support staff of an IPL franchise rightly mentioned.

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