Friday, 4 May 2007

Men in Blue: Unpaid, under-performed?

Maybe here you have the real reason behind Team India’s string of flop shows starting with the Champions Trophy and culminating – hopefully -- in the World Cup.

According to reports, the outrageously cash-rich BCCI, the richest cricket body under the sun, has not paid its players for the last seven months!

A high-handed BCCI has reduced cricket to an unorganized sector in the country, not allowing unions and arbitrary deciding fate of the players . The board simply doesn’t accept the existence of the Indian Cricket Players` Association, even though ICPA too has its share of blame. Envious of the players’ earnings, board officials make snide off-the-record remarks, plant stories in the media and harangue about performance-based payments.

Consider this. The Men in Blue remains unpaid since last year’s Champions trophy. Since then, they have toured South Africa, hosted Sri Lanka and West Indies before travelling to the Caribbeans for the world Cup, all unpaid.

Its overflowing coffers notwithstanding, BCCI has been an Uncle Scrooge when it came to making payment. And this was not the only occasion.

Andrew Leipus, the team’s former physiotherapist, was not paid for the last five months of his tenure, while the affable John Wright remained unpaid for seven months in 2004. BCCI took almost a year to pay the Rs 50 lakh bonus to Team India after their series win in Pakistan.

And this is after BCCI pocketed $612 million selling TV rights for next four years, adding to its annual income of $300 million dollar.

As usual, BCCI downplayed the issue and its publicity-hungry Vice President Rajiv Shukla said, “The payments were not made because the contracts were not ready. Once the contracts are signed, everything will be cleared. This is not a problem at all.”

Senior cricketers are fuming but the World Cup debacle and the Board’s gag order has forced them to maintain the mum.

1 comment:

Voice in Colombo said...

Hi there. I've added you to my blog roll. Keep up the good work. Let's try to get more cricket bloggers added to our community