Team India players and support staff are in for a huge windfall if Committee of Administrators (COA) implements the long-pending recommendation, also seconded by Justice Lodha panel, to increase the central contract money five fold.
DNA has learnt that COA led by Vinod Rai is in favour of the hike and believes that this would favour the Test players more than anyone else who have been feeling frustrated after being ignored by Indian Premier League franchises.
If implemented, Grade A cricketers, who are currently earning Rs 1 crore per annum, are set receive at least Rs 5 crore. Test regulars like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma don’t have to worry even if they go unsold in IPL auctions.
Grade B category of BCCI contract, who get Rs 60 lakh, would be getting Rs 2 crore while the Grade C cricketers in the group of Rs 35 lakh would be contracted to Rs 1 crore a year.
It has been learnt that this proposal had been in the pipeline since the series against New Zealand but because of the Supreme Court case being dragged by the former bosses of BCCI, it has not been implemented.
There are also talks that BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) also believes that “this may reduce the chances of bookies targeting frustrated players for the lure of big bucks”.
“The money our top players make from BCCI contracts isn’t in sync with what other players fringe players earn,” a BCCI top official told DNA on Wednesday.
Past instances have shown players like Irfan Pathan and Pawan Negi, who were not even part of national team, were picked up for huge sums by franchises. “We want to send a signal to our top players that Test cricket is still our priority. Look at how English or Aussie top players are more focused on playing for their countries,” added the official.
“With the new COA in place, the players once again put forth their view. Similarly, even the support staff – excluding head coach Anil Kumble – have been been demanding a hike because they haven’t got one since they came on board in 2013,” reasoned the official.
It may be mentioned here that only players like Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Ravichandran Ashwin get big endorsement deals. The rest don’t get such opportunities and thus get dependent on only IPL deals.
“If a player is good and valuable for Team India, he should get more or at least as much as any other player who is not even part of the national team,” said the official.
If the suggestions are implemented, Grade A cricketers, currently earning Rs 1 crore per annum, will receive at least Rs 5 crore. Test regulars like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma don’t have to worry even if they go unsold in IPL auctions. Grade B category of BCCI contract, who get Rs 60 lakh, stand to get Rs 2 crore while the Grade C cricketers in the group of Rs 35 lakh would be contracted for Rs 1 crore a year.