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Amid indications that players are unhappy with the new contracts offered to them, the BCCI on Friday climbed down from its stand that they should sign before leaving for Bangladesh on Monday next.

"They can sign the contracts after returning from the tour of Bangladesh (May 7-29)," BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said.

"I don't have a feed back yet from the players. I am going to Kolkata on Sunday and will talk to the players and hear their concerns if there are any," he said.

Shah also felt that if the players have some reservations then it would not be possible for them to sign the contracts before they leave for Dhaka.

Shah had said from London, a couple of days ago, while returning after witnessing the World Cup final in the West Indies that the players will have to sign the contracts before departing for Bangladesh.

As per the clauses of the contracts, the players will get only Rs five lakh as flat retainer fees irrespective of their seniority, a far cry from the Rs 20-50 lakh they were earning till September last year.

They are also entitled to a bonus for victories in matches and series separately but obviously the players are totally unhappy over these figures.

The board official's posture today was indicative of a clear climb down from the tough stand adopted earlier by the BCCI at the review meeting held here to discuss the team's debacle in the World Cup last month.

The BCCI climb down came amid reports that the some of the senior players were not happy with the contracts and wanted to have a detailed discussion with the BCCI officials.

Sources said that the players not only had reservations on some of the clauses incorporated in the contracts but were also peeved at the flat retainer amount proposed by the BCCI.

The players found it difficult to sign the 38-page contract before the tour of Bangladesh as they wanted their lawyers and agents to have a look at the documents.

Asked whether there was any deadline laid by the Board for the players to sign on the dotted line, Shah said "no, there's no deadline".

About the cap on players' endorsements which has led to a lot of heartburn in various quarters, Shah made it clear that it was a Working Committee decision.

"If some changes have to be made in this then only the working committee can do it," he reiterated.

The working committee of the Board had decided on April 7 that no player can sign more than three endorsement deals with sponsors/products at a time and not more than two players can be contracted by a single sponsor.

The committee had also decided that the players will not be allowed to do any sponsor-related events 15 days before the tour and also during the tour.

The players would get Rs 1.5 and Rs 2.5 lakh each respectively as match fees for ODIs and Tests.
 
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