The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Saturday set up a two-member committee to discuss with its players contentious issues in the contracts after the team returns from the tour of Bangladesh.
Amid reports that senior players are unwilling to sign the contracts offered to them, BCCI president Sharad Pawar and other top officials of the Board met in Delhi to discuss the issue. The outcome of the meeting clearly indicated that the Board does not want a confrontation with the players.
Skipper Rahul Dravid was immediately informed that the players need not sign the contracts before leaving for Bangladesh on Monday, and BCCI vice-president Shashank Manohar and treasurer N Srinivasan would discuss the issue with them when the team returns at the end of the month.
The Board, however, saw no compromise on its part and maintained that relations with the players, who "are part of the BCCI family", are cordial.
"There is no such thing as compromise or coming down," BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said.
BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty and joint-secretary M P Pandove were part of the meeting with Pawar, Manohar and Shukla.
Manohar's presence in the committee is significant, since he has been vocal in calling for introduction of performance-linked payments for the players.
As per the clauses of the contracts, the players will get only Rs 500,000 as a flat retainer fee irrespective of seniority.
The players are entitled to bonus for series and match wins, but obviously they are totally unhappy over these figures.
Besides the player contracts, the issues of appointing a new coach and women's cricket were also discussed, Shukla said.
Shukla said that the "search committee" appointed to find a new coach would meet in the third week of this month to discuss the matter.
He said that all the state associations would be directed to form a separate committee to deal with the administration of women's cricket under ICC guidelines.
Maharashtra Cricket Association president Ajay Shirke and Shubanghi Kulkarni, former secretary of the Women's Cricket Association of India, which was merged with the BCCI last year, were also present at the meeting.