Indian cricketers earn less than foreigners: Unhappy with annual salary, Virat Kohli demands pay rise – Indian cricketers stand fourth in the list of most paid cricketers around the world, behind – England, Australia and South Africa.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni (PTI)
Indian captain Virat Kohli has demanded a pay rise for the Indian cricket team players after getting to know that his foreign counterparts earn much more when it comes to revenue from annual contracts of their respective boards.
The BCCI on March 22 had announced that they have doubled the Annual Retainership fee of India's 32 centrally contracted cricketers with Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni in the Rs 2 crore Grade A bracket along with five others. The Committee of Administrators (COA) confirmed that Grade A players would now be getting Rs 2 crore as compared to the earlier Rs 1 crore, while Grade B and C players will get Rs 1 crore and Rs 50 lakh respectively. The match fee for Tests has been hiked to Rs 15 lakh per match from Rs 7.50 lakh earlier, while ODI and T20Is will make them richer by Rs 6 lakh and 3 lakh respectively.
The fact that BCCI budgeted a surplus of Rs 509.13 crores in the current fiscal (2016-17) and still Indian cricketers stand fourth in the list of most paid cricketers around the world, behind – England, Australia and South Africa, further adds logic to Kohli's claims.
“Kohli – supported by coach Anil Kumble — argued that while cricketers in England, Australia and South Africa could pick up a purse worth Rs 10-12 crores (inclusive of retainer fee and match fee), a top Indian cricketer would earn a maximum of Rs 4-5 crores (inclusive of retainer fee and match fee). The Indian skipper made it clear it was grossly unacceptable, at a time when the BCCI earned the maximum and was lobbying for a lion’s share from revenues of International Cricket Council (ICC),” a BCCI official quoted as saying by First Post.
First Post reported that the Kohli wants to have a different set of contacts for different formats. He has also requested the Board to increase the Grade ‘A’ retainer to Rs 5 crore, Grade ‘B’ retainer to Rs 3 crore and Grade ‘C’ retainer to Rs 1.5 crore.
Kohli's demand was brought to the notice of COA but the cricketers will have to wait till the end of Indian Premier League (IPL). The BCCI office bearers will meet the COA for a meeting in Hyderabad on April 5 but this matter won't discussed as the agenda of the meeting is already set.
The Indian captain's point of view is legitimate as a cricketers like Cheteshwar Pujara, who only play the longest format of the game and is ignored for IPL, has to miss out on a lump sum of money whereas the Kohlis and Ashwins, who play all three formats but aren't paid higher than their teammates who just feature in one format.