The benefit season in cricket refers to the method of rewarding players. It was invented in the counties of England to support professional age players in the 19th century. The system is still relevant today, although professionals earn quite well. So there are supporters of canceling the benefit season.
Benefit season: the basic meaning
In the 19th century, it was difficult for cricketers who were engaged in this sport professionally to play at the age of 30 due to financial circumstances since they played fewer matches. Previously, receipts were used to raise funds for the benefit season, which the British collected after each match played. Now various charity events are used to raise money — auctions, dinners with stars. Events can be assigned both at different times of the year and at a certain time of the year. Most often, the benefit season takes place in the summer.
It is important that only one player from a particular club in England can receive help. This is done to ensure that there are as few disputes and conflicts as possible within the team.
However, some players or clubs manage to get help of a similar nature, but from different organizations. The House of Lords is responsible for the benefit season. It is important to note that the player receives assistance that should not be subject to tax deductions. At the same time, payments did not always go smoothly. For example, in 1920, James Seymour from the United States received financial assistance. Upon returning home, the US Tax Service called the cricketer for questioning and opened a criminal case. The proceedings lasted until 1926, and only then the player managed to successfully resolve the issue.
To get the benefit season, the player does not have to sign contracts with House of Lords in advance. This is done for the purpose of maximum objectivity in making decisions on awarding prizes. Theoretically, a player can get a benefit season for the second time only after 10 years. There was one such case in the history of the charity organization. Graham Gooch, who played for the Essex club, received cash assistance in 1985 and 1995.
Benefit season: criticism of the system
In the 21st century, cricketers playing at the club level in England earn at least several tens of thousands of pounds per month. There are amounts exceeding 300 thousand pounds. The leaders of club cricket in England end their careers as millionaires. They earn money for matches held in clubs, participation in major international tournaments and promotional events.
Critics of the benefit season system believe that the money awarded to professional club cricket players in England could be used for other purposes. Supporters pay tribute to traditions. They believe that if the system exists, then the previously laid down conditions must be observed in it. And if you cancel the benefit season, then English cricket will lose about two million pounds a year in annual aid.
At the same time, some players prefer not to play for one club throughout their career, hoping for a benefit season. Cricketers move to other teams, improve their level and earn more money in the course of their career. Thus, they can save money for a sports pension or strive to attract attention to themselves and, after completing their professional career, work as a coach in a strong club or national team.