Several BCCI members including Kerala and the National Cricket Club (NCC) have demanded a Special General Meeting (SGM) on June 22 after former Board secretary Niranjan Shah pointed out that umpires are being paid more than domestic cricketers for BCCI tournaments. Shah’s Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) with other BCCI members has called the meeting to discuss issues like player contracts, remuneration of domestic players and match officials.
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has issued a notice for the SGM, to be held at 10 am in New Delhi on June 22. “Only office-bearers may represent the member associations,” the notice said.
In April this year, CoA had decided to double the match fees of umpires, match referees and curators. As per the new order, the top 20 umpires were to be paid Rs 40,000 per day to officiate in matches other than T20s. For the shortest format, their salary was increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000.
The problem, however, is that domestic cricketers are entitled to only Rs 35,000 per day for a first-class fixture which is now less than what the umpires would earn.
Shah said that he welcomes the move to raise the match fees of umpires and other match officials but added that it is shocking that they would be earning more than senior domestic players. “I fail to understand how can match fee of umpires be more than players,” Shah said, while adding, “Since the last domestic season, i.e. 2017-18, each team in Ranji Trophy is getting two fewer league matches than in the earlier format, which is a considerable financial loss to players.”
In March this year, the board had also announced a new contract system for Indian cricket, introducing an ‘A+’ grade and handing Rs 7-cr per annum contracts to five players in that category – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
It had also increased the match fee for Grade A, B and C to Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively.