• Curators salary still remains the same after ten years

    Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur had floated a proposal to improve the package of the curators and groundsmen before he was sacked.

    Ranchi pitch
    (Photo Source: Twitter)

    It is often glaring to see the curators, who toil hard over the years on the grounds getting the same salary despite the increase in workload. The entire outcome of a game of cricket depends on how good the 22-yard strip is. They are often the first ones to enter the pitch and the last ones to exit and what they get as a return is a pity sum.

    According to sources, the five zonal curators of BCCI are paid a salary of around Rs 50,000 per month and have not been given a hike in 10 years despite the increased workload. Despite receiving a sum of 50,000 a month, 10% of it is deducted as a tax which is not paid by the cricketing board.

    The second tier of the co-opted five-member pitch committee is paid Rs 35,000 each per month while none of the state bodies pay their curators beyond Rs 50,000 per month. The curators are also in line to receive an addition of Rs 3,500 per day as dearness allowance (DA) when they travel outside their horizon.

    No hike for 10 years

    This compared to the other stakeholders of the game is quite shocking, as per the figures from ten years ago the BCCI contracted players used to get a sum of Rs 1.5 crore and the domestic players earning Rs 12 lakh per annum according to TOI. While the umpires take home a whopping sum of Rs 4 to 5 lakh per annum and since then has increased three-fold.

    A top BCCI official said the curators are paid for ‘supervising’ the zonal pitches, and they are also entitled to make extra money through freelancing. “There are also some other employees who work for BCCI and are paid on the basis of their supervision work,” the official said while adding that paying the curators across Indian stadia is the responsibility of state associations.

    What the official did not mention to TOI is what goes into being a curator in the off-season. The curators have to do the off-season renovation for the pitches while attending workshops, putting covers on the pitch and making arrangements for nets facilities.

    Sources said the condition of the groundsmen is as severe as that of unskilled labour. It is calculated that over 1,000 groundsmen – along with around 62 curators – who are employed by state units are paid around Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 per month. Each venue has around eight to 20 groundsmen who work with the head curators round the clock.

    While the board has announced a prize money of Rs 25 lakh for the best IPL wicket and Rs 10 lakh for the best Ranji pitch, it is reported that a majority of the state associations have not paid this to the curators. There is no strong move from the BCCI to revise or improvise the payment structure of the groundsmen and the curators. It was learnt that former BCCI president Anurag Thakur had floated a proposal to improve the package of the curators and groundsmen before he was sacked.