Playing against India lucrative for Boards: Modi

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New Delhi, Apr 19: Refuting allegations that the BCCI acts like a bully towards other boards, vice-president Lalit Modi said the rest of the cricketing world make money only when they play against India.

''Look, no one was concerned about cricket in India for the past 100 years,'' Modi told BBC's Hindi programme 'Ek Mulaqat' which will be broadcast tomorrow. ''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.'' ''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 added.

Modi is the chairman and commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also heads the marketing sub-committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

He is credited for aggressively selling 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,' Modi 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.'' According to Modi, the BCCI's income has increased since last year which have a positive effect on domestic cricket.

''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,'' he remarked.

''When the income of the board increases, the players also get more money. The players get 26 per cent of the board's income, 13 per cent 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.'' Modi is confident that despite the economy slowing down a bit, television rights will continue to fill the BCCI coffers.

He, however, warned that Team India will have to perform well to ensure that the BCCI contunues to prosper.

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

UNI

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