The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), last week, sent an email to the Indian T20 League team owners, citing that there will be a reduction in the prize money due to an ‘economic slowdown’ for the four teams that will qualify for the playoffs this season. Instead of the usual Rs. 50 crores, the four teams will now share Rs. 25 crores.

The further bifurcation states that the winning team will receive Rs. 10 crores, while the first runner-up will get Rs. 6.25 crores. The other two teams making it to the top four will get Rs. 4.37 crores each. This compared to last season’s prize money, where the champions received Rs. 20 crores, the runner-up Rs. 12.5 crores, while the third and fourth team got Rs 8.75 crores each, has produced a massive stirring amongst the team owners.

In reply, the franchise owners decided to pen down a letter to the BCCI, saying that cutting the prize money will be a “step backwards”. The letter, which was signed by the likes of Shah Rukh Khan (Kolkata), Preity Zinta (Punjab), Nikhil Meswani (Mumbai), Parth Jindal (Delhi), Kaviya Maran (Hyderabad), Sanjeev Churiwala (Bangalore), KS Viswanathan (Chennai) and Ranjit Barthakur (Rajasthan), also mentioned that the changes made in the system were communicated to them just four weeks before the tournament.

"It is too late for us to recalibrate our financial models and the proposed changes will cause significant and unexpected financial complications," read the letter directed to the league chairman, Brijesh Patel.

"The play-off standing fee continues to be a strong incentive for teams to continually improve the performance which, we all believe, has benefited Indian cricket in no small measure We collectively believe rewinding that will be a step backwards in the progress of Indian T20 League."

Apart from the prize money, the teams have also been asked to pay as much as Rs. 50 lakh per game to the centre hosting the game compared to last year’s Rs. 30 lakh fee. As of now, BCCI are yet to give a statement on the aforementioned, but it is said that the teams were anyway earning more than Rs. 200 crores from the Central revenue and therefore there shouldn’t be a worry in the cut.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Prakash Singh