BCCI not to compensate match officials for 2020-21 domestic season

Apex council approves 50% of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy edition’s match-fee for those who missed out on the last year’s tournament.

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The apex council decided against including match officials — match referees, umpires, scorers and video analysts — in the compensation package.   -  Getty Images

Even as domestic cricketers have welcomed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) hike in match-fee, more than 500 match officials in Indian cricket are in for a rude shock with the BCCI deciding against compensating them for the curtailed 2020-21 domestic season due to COVID-19.

Besides introducing graded match-fee for senior men’s and women’s cricketers, the BCCI apex council on Monday approved 50% of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy edition’s match-fee for those who missed out on the last year’s tournament.

Not the primary source

However, the apex council decided against including match officials — match referees, umpires, scorers and video analysts — in the compensation package. “Most of the match officials are employed elsewhere on a permanent basis, so their primary source of income wasn’t affected,” a BCCI official told Sportstar on the condition of anonymity.

READ: BCCI announces hike in match fee for domestic cricketers

“Besides, a majority of them were assigned at least a few games during the limited season we could host, so it was decided to consider only the cricketers who missed out on Ranji Trophy for the compensation package.”

The match officials, just like cricketers, are not contracted with either BCCI or a State association. Sportstar understands that some of the major associations will request the BCCI office-bearers for the issue to be tabled during the AGM.

Despite the heartburn for match officials, the cricketers, especially those who have established themselves in domestic cricketers but haven’t been able to be in India contention, were in for a windfall. The apex council ratified a steep hike for those who have played 40-plus matches in Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy to ₹60,000 per match-day from ₹35,000.

Amazing move

“It’s an amazing move. I would sincerely like to thank the BCCI, especially president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, for being considerate about financial well-being of domestic cricketers,” Sheldon Jackson — who has moved back to his home team Saurashtra after representing Puducherry last season — told Sportstar from UAE.

“It will enable a youngster to solely focus on playing cricket rather than searching for a job, run his household and save for the future should he be a regular in domestic cricketer for a decade.”

According to an apex council member, Ganguly, after realising that the state associations are keen on offering annual contracts, proposed a steep hike in match-fees. “Domestic cricket is our backbone and we will make every effort to keep it strong and healthy so that our bench-strength always remains superior,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

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