BCB makes umpires cheaper
In a country where everyday life is getting harder with the soaring prices of essentials, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has almost halved the remuneration of local cricket umpires and scorers, triggering a shock and surprise.
The BCB at its last meeting on August 18 decided that an A grade umpire from the national pool would receive Tk 12,000 for a first-class match, which is Tk 8,000 less than what they got in the last season.
The remuneration of umpires of other grades will also come down proportionately for first-class matches, the BCB decided.
They BCB also reduced the remuneration of umpires for one-day matches as well. Last season the remuneration of umpires ranged from Tk 6,000 to Tk 4,500 depending on their grade, but the BCB has decided that they will now be paid at a flat rate of Tk 5,000 for conducting a one-day match.
Similarly the BCB also slashed the remuneration of scorers for first-class and one-day matches. A scorer used to get Tk 12,000 for a first-class match, but the BCB decided it will come down to maximum Tk 8,000. For a one-day match they will get now Tk 2,500 against Tk 3,000.
The BCB officials said they have taken the decision after comparing the remuneration of the players and the umpires. ‘In a first-class match a player gets a match fee of Tk 10,000 while an umpire gets double the amount. We decided to bring a balance between them,’ said a BCB official.
But their decision shocked the umpires, who said comparing them with the players is totally unfair. ‘A player can earn money from many sources, but the umpires are not that fortunate. Unlike the players, they are only paid by the BCB, so both groups cannot be compared in the same way,’ said an umpire requesting not to be named.
‘In addition to that a player can play all matches in a season if he is fit. But an umpire does not get a match everyday. For example, in the National Cricket League a player can play as many as 10 matches, but an umpire will get five to six matches,’ he added.
The umpires also urged the BCB to take a lesson from the ICC, which pays an umpire $6,500 for conducting a Test match. The amount is much higher than the match fee of a Test cricketer.
They said when improving their standard is a precondition of Bangladesh’s overall improvement in the game, the decision of the BCB would certainly hamper the process. Many umpires, who have taken it as a full-time job, will now certainly retreat.
The BCB has spent $4,50,000 over the last two years for improving the standard of umpires under an agreement with Cricket Australia, but it will bring no fruit if they are not treated properly, said the senior umpires.
‘It’s very unfortunate that the BCB has reduced the remuneration of umpires. We were not even discussed before the BCB made the decision,’ said Sailab Hossain Tutul, general secretary of the Bangladesh Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association.
Tutul said they have already verbally protested the move and will decide their next course of action after the Iftar party of the association on September 4. The seasoned umpire, who is also a BCB councillor, blamed Mahmood Jamal, chairman of BCB’s umpires’ committee, for his indifferent attitude towards them.
‘It has been nearly a year since he was made the chairman of the umpires committee. But the gentleman did not even bother to sit with us for a single session over the period,’ said Tutul.
Asked about the allegation, Jamal said he has not enough time to sit with 2,000 umpires. The BCB director, who hails from Rajshahi, was also caught unaware about the massive reduction of umpires’ remuneration.
‘It’s not an unauthentic news,’ Jamal said initially when he was approached by New Age over phone. After he was categorically informed about the BCB decision, Jamal claimed that the reduction is very nominal.