After reports emerged that members of the Indian women's cricket team that reached the final of the T20 World Cup last year are yet to receive their share of the prize money, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials have indicated that the delay was due to the “pandemic”.
The officials admitted to Sportstar that “the payment should have been cleared long back”, and blamed the delay on the prevailing situation.
“The Board received the money late last year and things have been delayed since. But, now, the process has started and the players should receive the money in a day or two,” a senior official said.
UK's The Telegraph had reported about the delay in payment of the prize money for the global event, which was held in February-March last year.
When contacted, multiple people aware of the development confirmed to this publication that the payments are awaited. However, they also indicated that it usually takes “about three to four months” to receive such payments. But, this time the wait has been for more than a year.
“It is definitely disappointing, but such things are not new. The payments for the Board’s centrally contracted players were delayed even last year. The men’s team had to wait for 10 months for their instalment of the contract money and also their match fees. Back then, it was said that the delay happened due to the absence of some top management staff at the Board,” one of the sources, aware of the development, said.
This time, the fees for men's and women's teams in the domestic tournaments are also pending.
In its Annual General Meeting in December last year, the Board had decided to give compensation to the domestic players for a curtailed season. However, as of now, no amount has been disbursed, even though a few weeks ago, the Board treasurer Arun Dhumal had told this publication that a call on the amount will be taken soon.
Those who follow domestic cricket, however, point out that even in the pre-pandemic times, the payments would often get delayed. However, in the case of ICC events, the standard practice is to distribute the prize money soon after the ICC disburses the amount. “In an ideal situation, the payments should have been made, because once the ICC clears the amount, why should it take so much time?,” a former Board office-bearer pointed.
In the 2019 World Cup, India reached the semifinals before being knocked out by New Zealand. It was awarded $ 800,000 prize money. Some members of the team confirmed that they received their share within "two to three months."
Even when the women's team reached the semifinals of the T20 World Cup in 2018, the cash prize of $125,000 was distributed soon - within a couple of months.
The former Board office-bearer said that in case of the domestic season, the state associations need to raise the invoices soon after the season ends. “The practice is to have a two-tier check and then start processing the amounts. But there have been times when the state bodies would take time to raise the invoices, or not all names would reach the Board at one go. So, that often delays the process. But ideally, the whole thing should not take more than a fortnight,” the former office-bearer said.
The BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, last year, had told this publication that all the domestic players would be offered contracts by the Board, but it is yet to materialise.
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