New Delhi, March 8
India’s top cricketers have received massive salary boosts — Shikhar Dhawan has got a salary hike of 1300% from last year, while Rohit Sharma’s salary has risen by 600%.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has introduced a new A+ category in the retainer fee structure for its top players, who will receive a huge pay increase under the new Annual Contracts for the 2017-18 season.
The retainer structure now features four categories — Grade A+, Grade A, Grade B and Grade C — compared to three in previous years.
The uppermost category features five players — skipper Virat Kohli, opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah — who have been put on a retainer worth Rs 7 crore.
The amount is a significant increase from last year, when the players in the uppermost Grade A category were handed retainers of Rs 2 crore each. “The CoA (Committee of Administrators) was of the view that the performance and position of Indian cricket needs to be recognised with the fee structure comparable to the best in the world,” BCCI said in a statement.
Last year, senior players had expressed dissatisfaction with the pay rises they had received, leading to Vinod Rai, head of the Supreme Court-appointed CoA, announcing that a further hike would be considered for the current season.
Today, the world’s richest cricket board handed seven players Grade A contracts this season, including former captain MS Dhoni, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who will receive Rs 5 crore each.
The cricketers also receive match fee for each international appearance and many benefit from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Grade B players, including fast bowler Ishant Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, will earn Rs 3 crore each while Grade C players will receive contracts worth Rs 1 crore annually.
CoA, which supervises the operations of BCCI, said it had sanctioned the creation of a Players Revenue/Compensation Equalization Fund (PR/CEF) to insulate player compensation. The BCCI will contribute approximately Rs 125 crore per annum to the fund.
Mithali, Harman in top category
The women players too received a salary hike, for the first time since 2015. The top category Grade A contract value has been raised from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Grade B contract fee has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, and a Grade C worth Rs 10 lakh annually has been created.
Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur have retained their Grade A contracts, while Smriti Mandhana has been moved from Grade B to Grade A. There are six players in Grade B. Mumbai teenager Jemimah Rodrigues has joined Mona Meshram and Punam Raut, among others, in Grade C.