Cricket playing countries make money playing India: Modi

April 19th, 2008 - 11:54 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The Indian cricket board is, perhaps, seen as a bully because of its firmness in dealing with the rest of the cricketing world as most test-playing nations make money by playing India, says board vice-president Lalit Modi. “Look, no one was concerned about cricket in India for the past 100 years. Now the situation is such that most of the boards earn only when their team plays against India. Earlier they used to earn when they played against Australia,” Modi, who is also the chairman and commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL), told BBC’s Hindi programme “Ek Mulaqat”.

“If the various cricket boards earn money by playing against India, then we too have to put across our viewpoints firmly. We expect to be treated equally. That’s the reason we are being called overbearing,” he said in the programme, to be broadcast Sunday.

Modi, who also heads the marketing sub-committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has been credited with bringing in money through sponsorship.

Besides the billion-dollar Indian Premier League, which began in Bangalore Friday, he also aggressively sold television rights and various sponsorship rights for the BCCI.

“It has been a mix of everything. The first thing that the new board decided was that the system will be transparent. All the discussions will be carried out by the committee,” he said.

“Of course my experience proved to be useful where money was concerned. I was aware of the kind of money middlemen make in deals like these. And then I was also fortunate, the market was good, there was still enthusiasm for Indian cricket and the broadcast officials received high bids.”

Modi is banking on his success of television deals. But despite the economy slowing down a bit, he is confident that television as well as the Indian team’s performance will continue to fill the BCCI coffers.

“It (economy slow down) will affect everything and cricket won’t be untouched by this. But people watch cricket on television. As long as people watch television, cricket will benefit financially.

“Secondly a lot will depend on the performance of the Indian team. If the team performs badly, it will have an adverse affect,” he said.

The money has increased for Indian first-class players who are yet to play international cricket.

“When the income of the board increases, the players also get more money. The players get 26 percent of the board’s income, 13 percent for the Indian team and the rest for the Ranji (Trophy) players. The Ranji players who used to earn Rs.20,000-30,000 earlier are now earning Rs.50-60 lakh (Rs.5-6 million) annually,” said Modi.

“The income of the board increased last year. Before that the board had no income. You will see that the income of the board will increase annually. So if any Ranji Trophy player plays all the matches, he will receive Rs.50-60 lakhs.”

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