BCCI ups cricketers' take-home

NEW DELHI: As a first step towards resolving the cricket sponsorship row, the BCCI, one of the richest sporting bodies in the world, has decided to up the Indian cricketers’ take home for a match which will amount to 26 per cent of the total earnings of the BCCI.

“We have decided to increase the payment to Indian cricketers to 26 per cent (of the total earnings of the BCCI). It may be treated as an official announcement,” Jagmohan Dalmia, the big boss of Indian cricket and the chairman of BCCI, said during a conversation with anchors on SET Max channel yesterday after the Sri Lankan innings had come to an end and before the final got rained away.

At the moment while the Australian cricket board pays the highest amount to its cricketers which amounts to 25 per cent of the board’s earnings, Indian cricketers’ pay packets amount to about 20-22 per cent of the BCCI’s earnings.

In a bid to find a solution and bring around adamant Indian cricketers, before the Champions Trophy had started BCCI had offered to partly compensate the players for the losses which they might incur by signing on the ICC rules which has been framed to counter ambush marketing.

Sandwiched between Tony Greig and a seemingly aggressive Kapil Dev in the studio in Sri Lanka, Dalmia yesterday took the opportunity to explain BCCI’s position and the Indian cricketers’ predicament vis-?-vis ICC and the sponsorship row which, at one time, had threatened to disrupt the ICC Champions Trophy.

Dalmia also said during the course of the conversation that the payments to cricketers will amount to 26 per cent of the total annual earnings of the BCCI, but minus the interest, which the board earns from various fixed deposits, etc from banks.

According to Dalmia, last year BCCI’s earnings amounted to almost Rs 950 million.

Asked by Greig as to what were the issues relating to the advertising and sponsorship row, Dalmia, while pointing out that a solution may be in sight, said unlike other cricketers from other countries, the Indians stand to loose the most if ICC is adamant on the players signing the agreement in its current form.

Citing V. Sehwag’s example, Dalmia said that if for about eight months in a year India's latest master blaster cannot directly endorse Coca-Cola, which has signed on Sehwag, the soft drinks major will see little reason to continue with the Indian cricketer.

“If the ICC rules are applied, then Sehwag may stand to lose (like other top cricketers too)… the sponsors will also have to take a lenient view in such a situation,” Dalmia said, hinting that in that may lie a solution.

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