Indian players to receive graded payments after all
The Indian players today had their way on the contentious contracts issue, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) returning to the graded system under which the top five players get a retainership of Rs 50 lakh each annually.
The graded system had been abolished after the team's disastrous performance in the World Cup and replaced by a combination of match fees and bonuses. The BCCI had also capped players' endorsements by restricting the number of products they could endorse to three and introducing a performance-based payment system. The contracts, due from October 1 last year, could not be signed before the team went for the World Cup in early March.
Faced with stiff resistance by the top players such as captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly, the board's Working Committee backed off and chose to revert to the system under which the top 15 players are graded A, B, and C.
The committee which met in New Delhi with Dravid being present decided to have the graded system till September this year. The 'B' and 'C' category players get Rs 35 lakh and Rs 20 lakh each per annum.
Meanwhile, the BCCI extended the contracts of Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, the bowling and fielding coaches respectively, for one year.
N Srinivasan, the BCCI treasurer, refused to take questions about the launch of Indian Cricket League (ICL) launced by the Zee Network. But after repeated queries on the subject, when asked if the committee had given permission for Zee to go ahead with their plans, he said, "no".
Incidentally, sources in the board said that no show cause notice would be issued to Kapil Dev and Kiran More, who have been appointed on the board of directors of the ICL.
The committee also announced the itineraries for the forthcoming home series against Australia and Pakistan. Australia are scheduled to play seven ODIs between September 29 and October 17. Pakistan's visit will be a full Test tour, starting with a five-match ODI series starting on November 6, followed by three Tests. The Tests will be played in New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Australia in India
September 25 - Arrival in India
September 29 - 1st ODI, Bangalore
October 2 - 2nd ODI, Kochi
October 5 - 3rd ODI, Hyderabad
October 8 - 4th ODI, Guwahati
October 11 - 5th ODI, Baroda
October 14 - 6th ODI, Nagpur
October 17 - 7th ODI, Mumbai
Pakistan in India
November 2 - Arrival
November 6 - 1st ODI, Faridabad
November 9 - 2nd ODI, Mohali
November 12 - 3rd ODI, Kanpur
November 15 - 4th ODI, Gwalior
November 18 - 5th ODI, Jaipur
November 22-26 - 1st Test, Delhi
November 30 - December 4 - 2nd Test, Kolkata
December 8-12 - 3rd Test, Bangalore