The Hush Post: Look who is seeking pay parity. Indian cricketers are set to get a huge hike, with the salaries of top players as well as domestic ones likely to double in the coming season. The BCCI and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) are working on a formula to add Rs 200 crore to the existing corpus of Rs 180 crore in this season to provision for the hike next season. Earlier, during a recent meeting in Delhi, the BCCI had pointed out to the committee members that Australian skipper Steve Smith is assured of about 2 million Australian dollars (around Rs 12 crore), and England captain Joe Root also receives around the same salary as Smith does. The CoA and BCCI agreed that the Indian players deserved to be on par with the rest of the world in terms of contracts. It was also 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”.

As per the current contracts, top Indian players (Kohli, Pujara, Ashwin) are paid Rs 2 crore per year, while the Grade B players get Rs 1 crore, and Grade C, Rs 50 lakh a year. Following discussions of top Indian players and the Indian coach  with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) over pay hike for players, cricketers with the Grade A contracts could be paid around Rs 12 crore a year, with the captain’s salary even higher. The Grade B players’ contracts could be worth around Rs 8 crore, and Grade C contracts could fetch around Rs 4 crore a year. A Ranji Trophy cricketer, who made between Rs 12 to Rs 15 lakh yearly, could earn up to Rs 30 lakh after the ratification of the new formula. A top player like Kohli, who made Rs 5.51 crore from 46 matches in 2017, could now earn more than Rs 10 crore per year in emoluments from BCCI, apart from IPL and personal endorsements. The CoA is close to working out the proportion to be given to the senior and junior teams. This formula will be presented to BCCI’s general body for ratification.

As per the present arrangement, 26% of BCCI’s annual revenue is split three ways – 13% for international players, 10.6% for domestic cricketers and the rest for women and juniors. While more amount should be pumped into support the juniors at the base of the pyramid, the reverse seems to be happening. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly had raised the issue of domestic cricketers’ salary at the BCCI SGM on Monday and said how a substantial increase in the salaries of domestic cricketers is a must. It was revealed that the new formulae won’t eat up into the 70% share of BCCI’s state units. Domestic cricketers will also get big hikes and a Test cricketer like Cheteshwar Pujara, who doesn’t get to play the shorter formats of the game, will be duly compensated,which has been a concern of the Indian team management.

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