BCCI AGM: If COVID-19 impacts domestic cricket schedule, board to compensate players

This initiative is expected to benefit more than a thousand men and women cricketers.

The BCCI has decided to compensate cricketers if it fails to hold any other domestic tournament other than the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy due to the ongoing Covid situation in India. This was decided at the Annual General Meeting in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

This initiative is expected to benefit more than a thousand men and women cricketers. The Board, however, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of holding the Ranji Trophy or the Vijay Hazare Trophy and will take a call during or after the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament to be played from January 10-31.

“We are still very optimistic about holding the Ranji Trophy. Members agreed that it is very important. But if the Covid situation worsens, then the Vijay Hazare Trophy (50-over format) could be the easier option rather than holding four-day matches. But the domestic players will be compensated if there’s no other domestic tournament apart from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) president Jaydev Shah, who attended the meeting, told The Indian Express.

As per the BCCI press release, the general body decided to “form a working group in order to compensate the players, match officials and others involved in cricketing activity if they are not able to participate due to cancellation of cricket matches/tournaments owing to COVID-19”. The women’s domestic matches and men’s junior cricket, it is learnt, would be played during the IPL, from May onwards.
10 IPL teams from 2022

The AGM also authorised the IPL Governing Council to include up to 10 teams in the Indian Premier League. “Given the logistical challenges and also an increased number of matches in the middle of a pandemic, we are likely to expand the IPL from 2022. The members agreed in principle as regards to the IPL’s expansion to cater to and create a wider talent pool,” said a BCCI official.

T20 World Cup tax matters

To ensure that the next ICC T20 World Cup is played in India in October-November 2021, the BCCI would bear the tax liability, which can go up to $124 million, according to the AGM papers.

As per the host agreement, the BCCI is “obligated to” deliver the International Cricket Council (ICC) a full tax exemption for hosting the World Cup. Else, the tournament will move out to the United Arab Emirates, or the ICC will debit money from the Indian board’s revenue share. The game’s global body has set December 31 as the deadline in this regard.

“Our revenue share from the ICC is $390 million. If we fail to deliver a full tax exemption, then a little over $100 million will go away from our share over two World Cups (2021 T20 World Cup and 2023 50-over World Cup). The office-bearers asked the members if we wanted to host or not. We said we want to host,” the SCA president told this paper.

The BCCI is still negotiating with the government for tax exemption.

Cricket in Olympics

The BCCI is not averse to cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, but the members want certain clarifications from the ICC before taking a final decision.

The AGM also decided to increase the retirement age for domestic match officials and scorers from 55 to 60, while raising the insurance cover for retired First-Class cricketers to Rs 10 lakh. Rajeev Shukla has been elected BCCI vice-president.

Chetan Sharma new chairman of selectors

Former India medium pacer Chetan Sharma will be the new chief selector after he was picked for the senior selection panel on Thursday, along with Abey Kuruvilla and Debashish Mohanty (both ex-India seamers), by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Madan Lal, Rudra Pratap Singh and Sulakshana Naik.

The new selectors will join Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh in the panel and Sharma, who has played 23 Tests and 65 ODIs, will be the chairman by virtue of the number of Tests played.

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