Virat Kolhi and Company in their annual contracts with the Board of Control for Cricket in India are likely to get a salary hike of up to 800%. The skipper himself might get a slab higher than the players contracted in Grade A.
The BCCI’s Committee of Administrators following a meeting with Kohli and MS Dhoni, Ravi Shastri is reportedly considering an annual salary of INR 12 crore for the cricketers with the Grade A contracts. The captain’s salary may be even higher.
The Grade B players’ contracts could be worth around INR 8 crore, and Grade C up to INR 4 crore a year. The players in Grade A contract presently get INR 2 crore per annum. The players in Grade B and Grade C have annual contracts of INR 1crore and INR 50 lakh respectively.
Reports suggest that during the recent meeting in New Delhi between the senior players, head coach and the CoA, it was pointed out that Australian skipper Steve Smith is assured of about AUD$2 million (INR 12 crore) per annum. England captain Joe Root receives around the same salary as Smith does.
“The discussions went on for more than four hours and focused on the disparity in wage structures between Indian, British, and Australian players. There is no doubt the marquee Indian players are grossly underpaid compared to their British and Australian counterparts,” Ahmedabad Mirror has quoted a CoA source as saying.
The CoA and BCCI sources, according to Ahmedabad Mirror, in direct knowledge of the discussions have revealed that no agreement has been reached, but it was “unanimously” agreed that the Indian players deserved to be on par with the rest of the world in terms of contracts.
“The effort will be to restore parity,” a CoA source said.
It was pointed out that British and Australian players are discouraged from product endorsements while a Kohli or a Dhoni are the most sought-after brands in India, but Shastri, Dhoni, and Kohli “convincingly put across their point”, the source said.
There was also a discussion on how to ensure higher payment for the domestic players and the consensus was the Ranji players, who are entitled to 13% of the BCCI’s gross revenue share (GRS), should earn enough to make a career out of the game. “The career span of a domestic cricketer is not very long these days. All of them are not highly educated and jobs are scarce. It is essential that they are compensated adequately,” the source said.