By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may bring in a ‘force majeure’ clause if it decides to bring in a contract for all first-class cricketers, who are set to lose match fees as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has put uncertainty around the 2020-21 first-class season.
As of now, there are chances that only limited-overs tournaments may happen this season from January.
While concerns to compensate the players for the losses have been raised, the Board may not do it as there are currently no contracts in place with the players. Only the Uttarakhand and Punjab state associations have until now thought about having contracts, although the plans have only been in the works.
“If there was a contract system with first-class or Ranji players, men or women, then yes BCCI and Apex Council can think about compensation. They could have been compensated because they are suffering, but there is no contract,” said an official in the know of developments.
The BCCI may eventually bring in a contract system together with the state associations for first-class cricketers, meaning it could be joint effort.
“The BCCI might do a contract system for all first-class cricketers. It could be jointly between BCCI and state associations, but it depends whether it will be 50-50 or 70-30, 80-20 with state bodies,” said the official.
However, the contracts will most likely include a force majeure clause, that may make room for calamities like the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Force majeure clause is always there. You cannot foresee contingencies. All those clauses are there and it all depends on how you do it. The baseline is to help cricketers get more money so they don’t struggle in their lives, concentrate on cricket. In the present scenario, there is no cricket so it is difficult to pay,” said the official.
Although BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that the domestic season will begin in January 2021, there are still question marks over it and there has been no intimation from the Board to state bodies on the schedule. Many of them, like Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha have started preparing for the season adhering to the Board’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) related to Covid-19.