File Pic: Punjab Ranji team players during a practice session at IS Bindra stadium in Mohali. (TOI Photo)
MOHALI: In a major development, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has decided to offer annual contracts to 30 men and 10 women cricketers for the domestic season of 2020-21. The decision was taken during the apex council meeting, which was headed by PCA president Rajinder Gupta at the IS Bindra Stadium, here on Saturday.
Calling it a ‘scholarship scheme’, the PCA has appointed a five-member committee, which comprises two senior selectors, two junior selectors and former Punjab women cricketer Madhu Arora. PCA secretary Puneet Bali will be the convener. The committee will finalise the list of 40 cricketers within the period of 10 days and then the formal approval from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be sought.
The cricketers will be divided into A, B and C categories. Category A and B will have 10 players each who will be paid Rs 8 lakh and Rs 6 lakh per annum. While the category ‘C’ which will have U-19 cricketers being offered Rs 10,000 per month.
The PCA has also decided to name the new stadium at Mullanpur after Maharaja Yadavinder Singh, who was also a former Indian cricketer. Singh, the last Maharaja of Patiala played one Test against England in 1934.
Renovation of the IS Bindra Stadium was also on the agenda of the meeting.
“We are planning to build an International Cricket Academy here, so we need to renovate the stadium. It needs an upgradation,” PCA secretary Puneet Bali told TOI.
“We have also decided to give Rs 7 lakhs to senior selectors and Rs 5 lakh to the junior selectors for their work in 2018-19 season.
“In the meeting we also decided to give the bonus of Rs 40,000 to all the office-bearers who had worked tirelessly during the pandemic,” said Bali.
The PCA has also decided to increase the district grants. The major districts like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Mohali will get Rs 12.5 lakhs per annum, earlier they used to get Rs 8 lakhs. Whereas the grant of minor districts like Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Muktsar, Nawanshahar, Mansa, Barnala, Fatehgarh, Moga, Gurdaspur and Ropar is increased from Rs 2.5 lakhs to Rs 8 lakhs.
“We will set up a development committee, which will look after the demands of all the districts and also how the money is being invested,” said Bali.
“Lastly, all the coaches in the districts will be appointed by the PCA under the contract of three years. All of them will be the former cricketers, who had represented Punjab,” he signed off.