CHENNAI: The BCCI showed off its generosity when it doubled the annual retainer fee for players on Wednesday, but the world’s richest cricket board’s indifferent attitude towards its own curators has largely gone unnoticed. For starters, the remuneration for curators hasn’t been revised in the last nine years despite repeated pleas. A BCCI curator said the Board had provisionally cleared revision of pay for the ground staff along with the cricketers in a meeting on September 21 last year, but the Lodha Committee decreed that the meeting was null and void. “The players’ pay hike was approved when the team management met the Committee of Administrators (COA) in Bengaluru recently. But we have no one to take up our case,” he said. Thankless workers, curators come under the spotlight only when a pitch controversy breaks out like the recent Pune Test against Australia where match referee Chris Broad rated the wicket poor. It’s learnt that a Board official’s interference resulted in the Pune “mess” that showed the curators in poor light.
“We work tirelessly behind the scenes and no one appreciates us when India win. We start preparing the pitch with an assumption that we are independent and no one would interfere, but every time we eventually end up dancing to the tunes of the officials and team management even though we know that it’s our credentials that are at stake,” the curator said.
Currently, there are 10 curators including five co-opted members contracted with the BCCI. Daljit Singh (north zone) is the chairman of the pitches committee, while Taposh Chatterjee (central), Ashish Bhowmik (east), P.R. Viswanathan (south) and Dhiraj Parsana (west) are the other zonal representatives. The five get Rs 50,000 per month apart from the travelling allowance. The other five, co-opted members representing different zones, get Rs 35,000 per month. The curators’ workload increased a few notches from the last domestic season when the neutral venue concept was introduced in Ranji Trophy.