The BCCI still owes me $400,000: Muttiah Muralitharan

The BCCI still owes me $400,000: Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan playing for Kochi Tuskers (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Muttiah Muralitharan has also spoken about the unpaid dues which defunct IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers owes to its former team members. The off-spinning legend has come forward just a day after his former Kerala Tusker teammate Brad Hodge requested unpaid dues via a tweet.

Hodge was prompted to ask if there were any chances of the settlement after BCCI had compensated Mohammad Shami for missing the IPL 2015 due to injury. Shami was paid 202 crores, BCCI websites reveals.

“The BCCI still owes me $400,000, and Mahela, who was the captain of the team, $500,000. I’ve written or spoken to the BCCI officials so many times in this regard, but despite many assurances on their part, nothing has happened. Overall, the BCCI owes the Kochi players more than $2 million. We’re still waiting to get 40% of the money due to us. The franchise paid us only 60% of our share, before asking us to take the remaining 40% from the BCCI, since they claimed that the board had kept their guarantee money with them,” Muralitharan told Times of India from Colombo.

“I’ve played in so many leagues around the world, but no board has done something like this. Like the players, the board too is supposed to honour a contract. It shows that they don’t care for the players. They’re just bothered with running the tournament.”

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“While guys like me and Mahela can still run our homes without this money, imagine the plight of the lesser-known players for whom $30-40,000 matter a lot. I’ve heard that some of the support staff, in fact, didn’t get 80% of their dues.”

No one, he said, can help the cause of these players in putting pressure on the BCCI to settle the claims of these players. “When it comes to the IPL, the Sri Lankan cricket board leaves you on your own,” said Muralitharan. “The BCCI doesn’t recognise FICA (Federation of International Cricketers, headed by former Australian off-spinner Tim May), so there’s no point in going to them, and I don’t want to sue the BCCI in the Indian courts, because I know that the case will stretch for years.”

Defending the delay in payment, a board official said: “They’re supposed to be paid by the franchise, and not us. The matter is in dispute, and we’re hopeful that the players will be paid once the matter is settled in the court.”

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Kochi Tuskers Kerala, which was formed with a consortium of five companies put together by Rendezvous Sports World, played in the IPL in 2011 before their contract was terminated by the board on account of failure to submit their annual bank guarantee.

Apart from Hodge, the team included the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, VVS Laxman, Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel and Muttiah Muralitharan. Following Kochi’s termination, the squad members were placed on auction for the subsequent season.

In January 2012, the BCCI even suggested the overseas players to sue the Kochi Tuskers. Around a year ago, Kochi Tuskers, after a long legal battle, finally got some relief when the court-appointed arbitrator Justice Lahoti directed the board to pay Rs 550 crore for terminating the franchise.