The Board of Control for Cricket in India mandarins were supposed to deliberate the Lodha panel report at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Friday and possibly take a decision on whether to follow the recommendations or not. However, in a surprising move, the BCCI called for a working committee meeting in the morning, just before the start of its SGM which was adjourned for Saturday, and announced a windfall for the players and state units.
BCCI increased the match fees of players in the first eleven and reserve by more than 100% and raised the annual subsidy for its full members from Rs 60 to Rs 70 crore.
The BCCI has now scheduled the SGM for Saturday morning, at 11 am, to ‘consider’ the Lodha committee recommendations even as it is left with no choice but to implement them in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s July 18 order and the recent strong reminder by the Chief Justice of India.
The working committee’s agenda on Friday involved discussing India’s stand on playing Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy next year and, appointing a general manager at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore soon, apart from the salary hike for cricketers and increase in subsidy.
“I have always maintained that we need to do more for Test cricket and cricketers both, and this is the first step in that direction,” BCCI president Anurag Thakur said on Friday evening.
BCCI members had little idea of the possibility of a working committee meeting until Friday morning when the agenda was circulated just hours before the scheduled start of the SGM.
India’s Test cricketers who received Rs 7 lakh (playing XI) and Rs 3.5 lakh (reserve) per match will now get to earn Rs 15 lakh and Rs 7 lakh respectively.
With India scheduled to play 11 more Tests at home post the ongoing Kolkata Test, a cricketer in the playing eleven would earn Rs 1.65 crore by the time Australia’s tour of India concludes early next year.
All BCCI officials left the board headquarters immediately after the SGM on Friday was adjourned and remained unavailable for comments.
The annual subsidy for full members that been hiked from Rs 60 to Rs 70 crore has been done keeping in mind the state associations’ request for improvement in infrastructure. All member representatives of the BCCI who had arrived in Mumbai for the SGM will now gather at the board’s headquarters on Saturday morning once again to now discuss the Lodha panel recommendations.