Ben Stokes – one of the 12 English players in the IPL – fetched the biggest winning bid in the latest player auctions © BCCI
The England and Wales Cricket Board will review its policy regarding the payments it receives from the BCCI for the participation of England-qualified players in the IPL.
It follows the confirmation by Surrey’s Director of Cricket, Alec Stewart, on Tuesday (April 16) that the ECB is paid a set percentage of a player’s IPL salary from the BBCI and keep those sums centrally without directly passing any of it back to the impacted counties. Although Stewart said the figure had risen from 10% to 20% of salaries this season, Cricbuzz understands that although an increase is a possibility, the exact percentage will not be known until after the tournament has concluded.
The ECB is not alone in receiving these payments. All governing bodies receive such monies from the BCCI but Stewart maintained he and other Directors of Cricket have been kept in the dark about them and only discovered the arrangement at a meeting of county chiefs at Edgbaston last Tuesday, chaired by Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon. The ECB say that counties have been aware of the arrangement since it began in 2014.
English players currently at the IPL are irked by ECB’s stance around compensation payments. While understanding it is their choice to play in the competition, they feel they are made to feel guilty from all sides for their participation: supporters condemning them for not playing for their counties at the start of the summer and clubs complaining they don’t get enough compensation for losing their services. All the while, the ECB is encouraging them, both publicly and privately, to go to the IPL and benefitting financially from doing so. It is the players who bear the brunt of the criticism.
Redistributing the money back to the counties could not only allow them to legislate for the loss of a player by bringing an academy prospect onto the staff full time, but also help a player’s future. Counties are wary of offering big deals to those likely to be away at the IPL or with England over the summer. This extra money could act as a sweetener for a player to lock down something long term and not have to opt for a “white-ball only” contract
Although the ECB does not distribute this money directly to the counties whose players are signed by franchises, they say it is placed into a central pot which then goes towards projects the governing body maintains help all the 18 first-class counties. Cricbuzz understands that previous payments have been put towards marketing of the T20 Blast for example, and the ECB argues this approach benefits all counties in a fair and equitable way.
An ECB Spokesman said: “Since 2015, ECB has ensured that any sums received centrally in relation to England qualified player participation in the IPL has been reinvested in marketing the domestic programme to the benefit of all first-class counties. The ECB board has determined that given the increasing number of players from England and Wales now participating in the IPL, the time is right to review the policy and it will consider the outcomes in the context of the overall financial investment it makes to counties going forward.”
Despite agreeing to review the policy, the ECB feels any change to the current arrangement which sees centrally contracted players pay back 1/365th of their annual retainer for each day they are on IPL duty and other players 1% of their county salary for every day of 21 days and then 0.7% thereafter, could lead to problems. But Stewart believes the money the ECB receives should go back directly to the counties who are affected and the percentage paid back to the players altered.
This year, Surrey’s Jason Roy and Tom Curran, two of the county’s most valuable players, have been signed by IPL franchises and there are 12 English players in total involved. “At the moment, the players take the hit,” Stewart said on Tuesday. “But if we get the 20 percent compensation coming from the IPL then I would argue the player should only be paying a daily rate, 1/365th, rather than the one percent. I think that would be fair.”