The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Only 50 per cent for non-playing members
- Team India’s match fee structure to be two-tiered

Calcutta: In a significant departure from what currently is the norm, the non-playing Team India members will get only 50 per cent of the fee received by the first XI players.

There will, therefore, just be the playing and non-playing categories without the players being graded into A, B and C types. During the earlier rounds of dialogue, there was a proposal for three categories.

Moreover, to avoid any confusion, henceforth there won’t be a distinction between the basic match fee and the logo component which is added from the sponsor’s contribution.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, this was “unanimously” agreed upon during Monday’s meeting in Bangalore between key BCCI officials (including S.K. Nair and Prof. Ratnakar Shetty) and the four senior pros — Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble.

On the agenda, of course, was the introduction of a contract system — hopefully from October 1 itself. For Team India, the 2003-2004 season begins on October 8, with the start of the first of two Tests against New Zealand, in Ahmedabad.

Under the existing lopsided arrangement, the match fee (both in Tests and ODIs) is uniform for all 14/15 players. And, where the add-on logo money is concerned, those outside the XI receive a mere 10-12 per cent less.

Now, that’s going to change. In fact, this ought to have come about much earlier.

While there’s talk of a revision, the players currently get a basic match fee of Rs 40,000 (Tests) and Rs 25,000 (ODIs). The logo money component is a further Rs 1 lakh or thereabouts.

So, once contracts are introduced, the non-playing members will receive around Rs 70,000 for each Test and about Rs 60,000 for every ODI. It’s going to be a huge cut but, frankly, nobody should grumble.

The match fee structure apart, the officials and the senior pros agreed on a proposal whereby the retainership — which is distinct from everything else — will be three-tiered: Rs 60 lakh (A), Rs 30 lakh (B) and Rs 15 lakh (C).

Apparently, the BCCI will contract 20 players and the annual review will be undertaken by the president, Team India coach and the selection committee chairman.

Sources insist that Monday’s two-and-half hour interaction — which revived a process stalled for over a year — went off “very well”. Indeed, there’s a good chance of another round of talks during the September 10-14 Challenger (in Bangalore, incidentally).

For the record, though, the senior pros have sought “clarifications”: What exactly constitutes the BCCI’s gross earnings and how much will 26 per cent of that translate to in Rupees'

As announced, half of 26 per cent will be earmarked exclusively for the Team India players. The balance will benefit the strictly first-class cricketers (10.4 per cent) and the juniors (2.6 per cent).

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