IPL shock: Players pay to be slashed

Gambhir

Top Indian cricketers have objected to a clause in their IPL contract that denies them 20% of their fees in case their team fails to finish among the top three and thus qualify for the Champions League.

Players of the 10 IPL teams read the newly-introduced fine print in their contracts only after the January 8-9 auction, and collectively approached BCCI president Shashank Manohar with their complaint last week.

At the meeting, the players said that the clause was unfair, and a breach of their trust. "At the auction the entire world saw what we were supposed to get but that was not the case when we read the contract. Twenty20 cricket is highly unpredictable and even if we give our best, things can change. One bad game can see us lose 20% of what we are supposed to get," said a senior player.

As per the new clause, Gautam Gambhir, who went for Rs 11.04 cr, will get only Rs 8.83 cr in case Kolkata Knight Riders fail to make the top three in IPL 4.

Team owners insisted the new clause was legitimate. "It was a unique idea and it made a lot of sense. Like in any sphere of life, the payment will be performance-based. Moreover, when we buy a player at the auction we are are paying for him to be with us for both IPL and Champions League. And if the team doesn't make it to the Champions League, the player shouldn't be paid," said the co-owner of a team.

The clause is part of the contract of only those players who were at the auction. Uncapped players will get full payment regardless of how their teams do.

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