The Mumbai Cricket Association has decided to give central contracts to its players, drifting away from the traditional match fees system to offer better financial stability to its players.
Sourav Ganguly had promised the same system for all the domestic players after becoming the BCCI President years back, but he hasn’t done anything on this front.
Meanwhile, the IPL is filled with glamour and money, although the same cannot be said for the domestic circuit. Players who only play in domestic cricket and don’t hold any IPL contracts need financial stability from the teams. They often make less money than what a young rookie bags in a two-month IPL season.
Hence players such as Jaydev Unadkat and Sheldon Jackson have been vocal about providing centralized contracts to the players since those without job security rely heavily on match fees.
The demand for contracts increased when the 2020-2021 Ranji season got cancelled due to the pandemic. Hence players who just played for domestic teams suffered financially, as they didn’t receive any match fees. Further, they didn’t have any other job other than cricket.
One such example is Chhattisgarh captain Harpreet Singh Bhatia, who had to go to the UK to play club cricket amid a pandemic to run his house. He had said earlier, “I had to come to the UK to make extra money. Since I don’t have a job back in India, I come to England anyway to supplement my income. If I had a central contract back home, it wouldn’t be a compulsion for me to play in the UK.”
The MCA has decided to give central contracts to its players. The proposal was passed unanimously by the board members.
The MCA council member said that the contracts will be in place before the start of the 2022-2023 season. Both men’s and women’s teams will be handed the contract. Although, players already under the BCCI contract will not receive any.
He said, “We will ask the CIC to provide a detailed plan. This has been long overdue and will offer the players financial stability.”