MUMBAI: Economic slowdown seems to have hit the mighty Indian cricket board (BCCI) too. Never the kind to penny-pinch, especially after the birth of the Indian Premier League (IPL), world cricket’s proverbial 800-pound gorilla is now busy cutting costs on multiple fronts.
In a circular sent out to all the stakeholders of the IPL, including the eight franchises, the board has reiterated that it will not be hosting the opening ceremony of the IPL from this season on. The circular went on to add that the play-off standing fund is also being reduced for the same season.
The board has proposed a close to 50% reduction in the playoff standing fund for 2020, a decision that is being hotly debated by the franchises right now. The circular sent out by the BCCI states that the winner of the IPL 2020 final will get Rs 10 cr, the runner-up (loser of the final) will receive Rs 6.25 cr, and the third and the fourth placed teams (loser of qualifier 2 playoff match & loser of the eliminator play-off match respectively) will receive Rs. 4.375 cr each.
The winner of the 2019 edition of IPL had earned Rs 20 cr as prize money and norms dictated that the purse would get divided equally between the winning franchise and the players. The runner-up received Rs 12.5 cr while the sides finishing third and fourth received Rs 8.75 cr.
At least four franchises confirmed to TOI on Tuesday that they were not at all happy with the development. Two franchises further confirmed that they would be “debating” this with the concerned authorities.
Venue agreement costs hiked
The BCCI’s venue agreement dictated that franchises would have to pay their respective state associations Rs 30 lakh to host each IPL match. That fee has now been hiked by Rs 20 lakh and franchises will now have to pay Rs 50 lakh per game to the state association.
Under the same agreement, the BCCI pays the state association the same money per match as the franchises. “That means, state associations will now earn Rs 1 cr per IPL match,” sources add.
Capped players can be loaned
In IPL 2019, only uncapped Indian players could be loaned from one franchise to another during the season. For 2020, this restriction has been lifted and overseas players and capped Indians can also be loaned. “Only players who have played in less than two complete matches in the playing XI or as a concussion replacement during the season may be subject to a player loan. The loan window will start at 9am on the day following the 28th match scheduled for the season or once all the teams have played 7 matches each, whichever is later”, the BCCI has conveyed to the franchises.
Auto no-ball to come into effect
Following trials held in 2019 and a more comprehensive testing during the pink-ball Test in Kolkata recently, the BCCI is all set to introduce a new protocol for front/back foot auto no balls from this IPL. “In summary, the third umpire will take on responsibility for monitoring front / back foot no-balls,” the circular said.
More cost-cuttingIn a bid to further reduce costs, the BCCI has put new travel policies in place for its staff going forward. As against the earlier rule where more than three hours of flying time would make way for a business-class ticket for senior employees, they will now have to fly economy if the flying hours are less than eight. “Barring two or three senior-most employees, the rule will apply to all, including operational heads,” say those in the know.