The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dalmiya, Sourav may confer

Calcutta: The Board president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, is likely to have a one-on-one specific to the contracts with captain Sourav Ganguly in the next couple of days.

However, given Sourav’s commitments with sponsors outside the city, finding a suitable time for a closed-door session may not be that easy.

Significantly, Team India will be off to Holland on Tuesday and the players won’t return till end September, after the Champions Trophy.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the Board has received a “communication of sorts” on behalf of the players — possibly from vice-captain Rahul Dravid’s lawyer — but Dalmiya apparently wishes to interact with Sourav before the next step is taken.

The Board, of course, planned to introduce the contracts before the recent Asia Cup, but some players sought more time and wanted clarifications.

The lead, one understands, was taken by a quick and one of the key batsmen.

What emerged, from the players’ end, is that the retainership in the three categories should be reworked — Rs 50 lakh, Rs 35 lakh and Rs 20 lakh instead of Rs 60 lakh, Rs 30 lakh and Rs 15 lakh — and that the non-playing members be given a higher percentage (70 instead of 50) of the match fee.

[The proposed fee is Rs 2 lakh for each Test and Rs 1.60 lakh for every ODI.]

What needs to be noted is that the Board’s proposals were endorsed by Sourav, Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble — all of whom were representing the rest.

One learns the Board won’t have a problem restructuring the retainership, but is unlikely to increase the remuneration of the non-playing members.

As a top source put it: “Look, the 50 per cent bit has already been introduced in domestic cricket… Moreover, if as much as 70 per cent can be given, then why not the entire hundred per cent' I think 50 per cent is just fine.”

Surely, the percentage issue is going to top the Dalmiya-Sourav agenda.

As announced by the Board, a maximum of 20 players may be offered contracts and both seniority and value will be kept in mind.

Incidentally, only those who have played either three Tests or ten ODIs are going to be eligible.

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