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BCCI to discuss contracts

Indian captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and two other senior cricketers will attend a special meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to discuss the contract issue in New Delhi on Thursday.

BCCI president Sharad Pawar decided to invite the senior players for the meeting so that the contract issue could be resolved at the earliest.

Apart from Dravid and Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly  and Anil Kumble have been invited for the meeting.”Board president Pawar has taken the initiative to call the players for the meeting. It would help in finalising the contracts of the players,” BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said.

BCCI vice-president Shashank Manohar, treasurer N Srinivasan and former president I S Bindra, who are members of the Contract Committee, will be present at the meeting.

It would be a busy day for the top brass of the BCCI, with a series of meetings scheduled for Thursday. While the Working Committee will meet in the morning, a press conference has been called in the afternoon where the BCCI is set to announce its Twenty20 international league plans in the presence of top officials of several Test playing nations.

Differences between BCCI officials and the players after the World Cup debacle led to a stalemate on the contract issue, forcing the Board to extend the 2005-06 contract by another year.Even that was done as late as June, nine months after the expiry of the contracts.

In the earlier negotiations, Manohar had taken a tough stand and had even called for a performance-linked contracts, meaning that players would be rewarded for victories and penalised in the case of defeats.But with the advent of the Indian Cricket League, it is unlikely that the likes of Manohar would take such a hard stand now.

According to the existing contract, players in the A grade gets an annual retainer of Rs 50 lakh, while the amount is Rs 35 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for Grade B and C respectively.

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