A report published in 2021, said that the BCCI is worth ₹14,489 crores. That’s an outrageously huge amount, and it reflects in the expenditures made by the world’s richest cricket board. Here we look at some of them.
1. Most recently, the BCCI spent ₹3.5 crores for a chartered flight that carried the Indian staff, players, and their families to West Indies from England. The news garnered a great deal of media coverage, and honestly, the collective shock was a little surprising, given the fact that it is not hidden how much privilege cricketers enjoy.
Though, if you detach the context, stuff like this is pretty insane. If they had taken a commercial flight, the final amount would have been close to ₹2 crores, so the BCCI went for the more convenient option by spending an extra…crore!
2. In 2012, BCCI decided to pay a sum of money to former Indian cricketers who retired before 2003-2004, thanks to the surplus earned from the IPL. The total amount came around to ₹70 crores.
This was a one-time benefit given to players who represented India and states in domestic cricket. Close to 100 crores, that’s something.
3. During the 2020 IPL season, the BCCI set aside ₹10 crores just for Covid testing of the players and the staff who were going to be a part of the bio bubble. While IPL is intricately woven into the economic fabric of the country, which establishes its importance beyond cricket, it is crucial to reflect during such trying times and ask fundamental questions about whether that money could have been put to better use.
One such question is – the IPL obviously contributes to the economy of the country but was holding it in the middle of the pandemic worth not helping people who, say, had no access to Covid tests?
Here, we must mention that the BCCI wasn’t completely blind to the suffering of people and did contribute sums of money for oxygen cylinders, etc. However, the contribution was not big enough for the above arguments to become invalid.
4. Now, to give credit where it’s due, the BCCI also spent around ₹18 crores during Tokyo Olympics, 2020. This includes ₹70 lakhs that were given to singer Mohit Chauhan who sang the theme song for the Indian contingent.
In relation to this, a BCCI source was quoted as saying, “It is our responsibility to help other sports. All the members agreed to this expenditure”.
One criticism here was that out of the ₹18 crores, only ₹4 crores were given to the medal-winners.
5. In 2017, it came to the Supreme Court-appointed company’s notice that in the two previous financial years and 3 months of 2017, BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary spent ₹1.56 crores, and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary, ₹1.71 crores on air-fare, food and travel alone.
This included more than ₹60 lakhs, individually, on air tickets alone.
We will go back to the figure we stated in the beginning – ₹14,489 crores! Explains most of it.