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Cricket news - Domestic players pay hike hits tax roadblock

File photo: The BCCI's plans to revise the fee structure for domestic players is taking longer than expected because of 'complex taxation policies'.

File photo: The BCCI's plans to revise the fee structure for domestic players is taking longer than expected because of 'complex taxation policies'.

The Indian cricket board's (BCCI) plans to revise the fee structure for domestic players is taking longer than expected because of "complex taxation policies" that the board has to abide by. TOI has learnt that the BCCI apex council, which met on Sunday, discussed about increasing pay for domestic players but it emerged that the current structure has been drawing hefty taxation.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which ran the BCCI for nearly three years, till last October, had raised fees of domestic players from Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 per day. The BCCI used to also pass on a part of its gross revenue share (GRS) to domestic players after the season. Some of the senior Ranji players are unclear if they are going to actually receive the GRS share.

"The domestic players will get GRS. The BCCI is bringing in a contract system now with a huge pay hike," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said. Ganguly has been vocal about a pay hike in domestic cricket.

But the process has hit a roadblock. "The board has to revise its financial structure. Under CoA, everything that was done is now drawing heavy taxes. The BCCI has had to pay a lot of tax, over one-and-a-half times more than it should have been. Once that is sorted, the domestic pay hike will be rolled out. There is also some work going on to enable the hike without eating too much into the GRS," a top BCCI official said. The idea behind the pay hike is to reduce the gap between a good domestic player and a basic IPL contract to keep the players motivated to play domestic cricket.

Meanwhile, the Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) had to be content with just a Rs 2 crore grant instead of the Rs 5 crore they were expecting. "We think Rs 12 crore will be needed but we expected Rs 5 crore to start with. But we were told that the BCCI is battling tax issues, that's why they could give us only Rs 2 crores right now," Anshuman Gaekwad, ICA's male representative to the apex council, said.

No zonal policy for selector's job

The BCCI is not sticking to the convention of having five selectors from the five zones, it is understood. The board is soon due to fill the posts which will be vacated by chairman MSK Prasad and Gagan Khoda. The SC-approved constitution also suggests that the best five selectors need to be appointed.

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has thrown his hat in the ring despite his Mumbai teammate Jatin Paranjpe still serving his term. "Agarkar is a strong candidate even for the post of being the chairman. Paranjpe's term runs till September. Even if Agarkar is appointed, someone else could come in from another zone when the board replaces the other three selectors in October," a top BCCI official said.

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