Guwahati: More than 14 months after the Indian women’s team played in the T20 World Cup final before a record crowd at Melbourne, finishing runners-up, they are yet to receive their prize money ($500,000).
A report in the UK daily, The Telegraph, said winners Australia were paid their winners’ share of $1.6 million a month after the tournament, played in March 2020. Semi-finalists England got their prize money ($120,000) two months after the event.
The Indian board (BCCI) says it received the money from the International Cricket Council (ICC) only in November. ICC wasn’t available for comment.
A BCCI official said the Indian players were yet to be paid but claimed that senior team members were aware of a technical reason that has caused the delay in disbursing the prize-money.
“The problem stems from the tax dispute BCCI has been having with ICC. If we pay the players currently, they will have to suffer double taxation,” the official said. “Our objective is to win the tax matter and pay the players in total. Currently, ICC is deducting TDS and players would have to take a US$ 50,000-60,000 hit.”
BCCI has to pay $23.7 million to ICC for the Indian government’s refusal to grant tax exemption for revenue from the 2016 T20 World Cup held in India. The matter has been with ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee since March 2020, a couple of weeks from the T20 World Cup final.
It could be argued that it would have been more prudent to disburse the prize money to the players and compensate them for the levied tax if and when BCCI won the tax matter. It is learnt the Indian board may decide to disburse the prize-money now. As per the prize distribution norms in Indian cricket, the money would go to the 15-member squad that was led by Harmanpreet Kaur with those in the playing 11 getting a greater share. Support staff members have also been awarded in the past.
On average, each playing member would get around ₹20 lakh, after-tax. The Indian women’s team central contracts are nowhere as lucrative as men’s. Three Grade A cricketers get ₹50 lakh annually, 10 Grade B players get ₹30 lakh and the retainer for six others in Grade C is ₹10 lakh.