In July 2022, when the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), headed by Vijay Patil, agreed in principle to introduce retainer contracts for senior men’s and women’s cricketers of the state, players were understandably elated. The promise was that before the 2022-23 domestic season, contracts would be in place.
But six months later, with a new dispensation in force, no decision has been made yet. We are into the fourth month of the domestic calendar with Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which Mumbai won for the first time, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Senior Women’s One-day trophy, Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, and a round of Ranji Trophy done and dusted, but players have no update on what’s going on.
As a matter of fact, when Vijay Patil was the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, he was quoted by ESPN Cricinfo as saying, “Gradation contracts will give us an opportunity to invest in our young talent. I am very happy that the apex council has unanimously approved this.”
Even MCA's Cricket Improvement Committee, comprising Jatin Paranjape, Nilesh Kulkarni, and Vinod Kambli were given the responsibilities to figure out the technicalities of the process. The initial discussion was to omitting players who have been given retainers by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) so as to extend the contract to as many players as possible.
However, multiple sources with the MCA and many players have confirmed to Cricket.com that no development has been made in that regard.
“There is no update. It was a hopeful commitment from Patil Sir, but since the new board has taken over, we haven’t heard anything from the Association yet. Hopefully, it passes soon in the AGM but at least some verbal assurances would be beneficial,” a player in the condition of anonymity told Cricket.com.
It must be noted that Nagpur-based businessman Amol Kale was elected as the president of the Association in October 2022 after beating former Indian cricketer Sandeep Patil by 25 votes.
Image Credits : Mumbai Cricket Association