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India women

India women

India’s centrally contracted women’s cricketers were instructed on Tuesday to invoice for pay extending back almost eight months.

And they are the lucky ones. Four players who recently lost their central contracts will receive no payment for their work between October last year and May this year. This means that during a seven-and-a-half month period those four players — Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Veda Krishnamurthy and Anuja Patil — were unable to seek alternative employment or income, and yet were paid only match fees and tour allowances.

These latest revelations raise questions about the financial administration of the BCCI and the provision of both its contracted players and those whose contracts are not renewed.

Telegraph Sport reported yesterday that the players who were part of the squad which finished runners-up at the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup had been instructed only yesterday afternoon to invoice for their portion of the $500,000 (£350,000) prize money. The processing of this payment occurred only after Telegraph Sport revealed on Sunday that India’s women’s players had not yet received that prize money.

In further correspondence seen by Telegraph Sport, India women’s players are expected not only to invoice for any prize money, match fees or daily allowances but also for the sums specified in their retainers, which it is understood are meant to be paid quarterly.

The invoicing process, rather than having the players on an automatic payroll, is not exclusive to women’s players and is understood to be for tax purposes.

However, this process has provided uncertainty and delay for players on annual contracts about their access to benefits beyond just pay. For example, should a contracted player seek medical care outside playing tours or training camps, they must first contact the team physiotherapist, who will then write to the BCCI board and the National Cricket Academy before they are able to receive that care.

Furthermore, Telegraph Sport understands that this is the first time that India women’s players have been asked to invoice for their quarterly retainer payments within a week of the annual contracts being announced. Usually, the process can take many months; last year’s annual contracts, which ended in September 2020, were only paid out in December.

Separately, there remain questions around the value of the Twenty20 World Cup prize money that the players have been asked to invoice for. Not only should India’s women have received $500,000 for finishing runners-up, but they should also have received $15,000 per group stage win. This would have meant total winnings of $560,000, as India’s women won four group-stage matches. Split equally between the 15-woman squad which competed in that tournament, each player should therefore receive in excess of $37,000.

However, the relevant players have been instructed by the BCCI to each submit an invoice for a sum equivalent to just over $25,500. This leaves more than $175,000 unaccounted for, despite the instructions to invoice for the prize money stating that it should be exempt from India’s Goods and Services Tax. Support staff accompanying the teams do not receive any prize money.