New Delhi: During the IPL auctions, fans get the impression that players make easy money by playing in this tournaments for just few weeks. However, the reality is quite different. Apart from Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, most of the franchises have earned negative reputations as far as the payments of the players are concerned in recent times.
Until Thursday, it was thought that only Royal Challengers Bangalore were guilty of delaying the payments of the players. However, the IBN network probed further on this issue and found that not just RCB, but Deccan Chargers too have not paid their players. And the players concerned are not only foreigners, but also Indians. So far, players have got just 15 percent of the contract money.
The chief of the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), Tony Irish, is obviously worried for its members.
“When players don’t get paid, it’s always a concern. There are five players from South Africa that, as of now, we know have not been paid by RCB and Deccan Chargers. Besides AB [de Villiers] and [Dale] Steyn, the likes of [JP] Duminy and [Juan] Theron are also in this list. We are in the process of collecting more information but at this stage not sure what process needs to be followed," says Irish.
Another South African coach, Ray Jennings, who has been part of the RCB set-up for the past couple of years believes that it is not ideal but plays down the issue.
"Over the years, there have not been any problems regarding the payments. I have not got the money of this season but am in touch with the management.
"Obviously, the negative news doesn’t help anyone. But RCB has a good value system and they will resolve all the issues. I have full faith in them. Being part of RCB you have good faith and I am waiting for their answers,” says Jennings.
Many players and agents are unwilling to come on record for obvious reasons, but they are a worried lot. There are stories of some players not getting their due from IPL 3. Some of the international captains had to write over 500 emails to get their payments and that too after the usual delay of more than six months. Some players had to pay for fine (for slow over rates) and they thought it was absurd. The mushrooming of various IPL–style Twenty20 leagues may give the impression that players have a lot to choose from. But the recent incidents in the Bangladesh Premier League are a sign that bigger boards like the BCCI should not ignore.
“Everybody has to understand that negative news puts risk on the tournament. It’s the responsibility of all the parties to keep the image of the IPL clean both on and off the field," cautions Jennings.
The Big Bash League in Australia and England’s domestic Twenty20 competition may never rival the IPL in terms of money and hype, but they have set a very high benchmark as far as professional running of this business is concerned. Even in the sub-continent the Sri Lankan Premier League is showing the way to its big brother. They may not be paying big money but the introduction of a bank guarantees clause has ensured players will not feel cheated if franchises doesn’t pay up on time.
Irish understands that the nature of contracts in the IPL doesn’t directly bring the BCCI in question. However, he conceded that after all it is the BCCI’s baby. “In IPL, a contract is between players and the franchise. But it does affect the brand IPL (when such issues come to notice) and I hope they can do something on this.”
Although Prakash Mirpuri, Vijay Mallya's PRO, could not add further beyond his one line response - "Noted. Let me check please. I will need some time as the concerned executive at RCB is overseas” - it was astonishing to note that the usually chirpy-on-Twitter Siddhartha Mallya remained quite on this issue. One can only hope what Jennings is hoping.
"I am positive that this issue will be sorted out. As long as our heart is in the right place and we all have good people in the IPL and RCB, this will be over. We just need to communicate better," Jennings said.