In a dramatic move, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to deduct the “excess” payment made to the Mumbai Ranji Team, so that they can manage coach Chandrakant Pandit’s incentive. The story unfolded recently when the MCA found that there was a “calculation error”. Earlier this year, the victorious Mumbai team lifted its 41st Ranji Trophy title defeating Saurashtra in the final, played at Pune.
The Mumbai team received Rs 4 crores in all, Rs 2 crore as prize money and Rs 2 crore as bonus from MCA. The MCA also distributed the prize money paying Rs 5 lakh each as bonus to all the supporting staff. The MCA has revealed that the excess amount will be deducted from their NECC logo sponsorship income.
MCA Joint Secretary Unmesh Khanvilkar confirmed this decision which was taken to accommodate coach Chandrakant Pandit’s incentive. Khanvilkar said, “The managing committee discussed the issue few months ago. It was decided that as previous coaches were considered as players, and not as members of the support staff, when it came to paying them, Pandit should also get the same share. He received the bonus which the other support staff got, but the managing committee felt the amount should match what the players received.”
Thus, coach Pandit who received Rs 5 lakh earlier, is set to get about Rs 25 lakh more now. Owing to this, the top players are likely to lose Rs 2 lakh each. However, the letter to the players, does not mention that the amount recovered from them will be passed on to their coach. The letter mentioned, “the managing committee decided to recover the said excess payment made to you from the NECC logo money for 2015-16 payable to you.”
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The Mumbai players aren’t happy about this cut in their sponsorship revenue; now that Christmas and New Year season has started; and they are planning to approach the MCA for an explanation. A player told The Indian Express, “It is unfair, if they wish to make extra payment to the coach, they should deduct it from the MCA’s coffers. Why should we suffer? This also spoils the dressing room atmosphere. The letter from MCA came as a shock and is very misleading.”
In a letter written to the BCCI, MCA Treasurer Nitin Dalal sought clarity on the rightful distribution of the prize money. Replying to this letter, the BCCI said that the prize money could only be distributed among the players, and not the support staff. It clearly pointed out that if the support staff had to be paid a bonus, the money would have to come from the association’s panel.