By Soyra Gune
With the BCCI yet to consider their demand for a pay hike, the women’s selection committee has refused to sign their annual contract. They’ve been working under protest — the Indian women’s cricket team, which recently won the Asia Cup, was also chosen while the selection committee was protesting.
The women’s selection committee, headed by Hemlata Kala, and consisting of Anjali Pendharkar, Shashi Gupta, Lopamudra Banerjee and Sudha Shah, all former Indian cricketers, want their salary increased from 5 lakh per annum to 25 lakh per annum. Just for comparison, the men’s selection committee is paid 60 lakhs every year, while the junior selection committee is paid 40 lakhs.
The committee had met with board president Anurag Thakur last month. Most of the selectors the Indian Express spoke to are unhappy that men and women selectors are being paid differently. As they say, “the approach and work pressure is the same”.
“The demands by women’s selectors are wrong. You can’t compare the amount of work and pressure these men’s selectors have compared to the women’s selection committee. At the same time look at how many games they cover every year. We hardly have a few tournaments for women’s teams,” a senior BCCI official has reportedly said.
The BCCI is upset with these demands, especially since they’re coming in during a time when court proceedings are on, after they needed to implement the suggestions of the Lodha Committee — the Lodha panel had first been set up to appoint new members to the BCCI following the IPL match-fixing scandal. Many of the office bearers’ futures depend on these hearings.
But apparently the very ‘busy’ board has the time to reject BCCI CEO Rahul Johri’s wish to purchase new Italian suits for the men’s cricket team. Each new set would cost 2.5 lakhs, and he would need 50 sets in total. While Abhinav Mukherjee, the board legal counsel said they would need confirmation for this purchase from the Lodha Committee, Thakur reportedly said Johri’s wish had been rejected.
We find it rather ironic that the BCCI had the time to consider and reject Johri’s offer, while they’ve conveniently ignored the women selection committee’s demands for a pay hike, especially after our women’s team snatched the Asia Cup for a record sixth time.