What’s the story?
Despite receiving a pay hike as part of their annual contracts, Team India players have expressed their displeasure at their annual retainer values, even though that were doubled from last year.
"Things have gathered momentum over the last three months or so, through the New Zealand and England series. Almost every player has been involved in the discussions”, a source was quoted as saying to ESPNCricinfo.
In case you didn’t know…
The BCCI had released the annual contracts of the men’s team for this season, doubling the annual retainer values from last year. The value is now set at Rs. 2 crore for players in the A grade (a total of 7), while Grade B and Grade C players earn Rs. 1 crore and Rs. 50 Lakh respectively.
The BCCI also increased the match fees for the players, bumping it from Rs. 7 Lakh to Rs. 15 Lakh in Tests, and from Rs. 2 Lakh to Rs. 3 Lakh in T20Is. This was the first time since 2010 that the changes had been made in the pay structure.
The heart of the matter
The displeasure of the players has emerged from the fact that the English and Australian teams get higher retainers than the Indian players, around Rs. 8 to 12 crore.
Another complaint is regarding the distribution of finances. While the IPL has been one of the biggest revenue generators for the BCCI, the players haven’t received ample share of the profit, or so they complain.
The players and support staff voiced their concerns through Anil Kumble, the head coach, who submitted a proposal to the Committee of Administrators (CoA). After the recently concluded India-Australia series, the BCCI awarded Rs. 50 Lakh to the players, Rs. 25 Lakh to Anil Kumble and Rs. 15 Lakh to members of the support staff, apart from being awarded a cash prize of USD 1 Million by the ICC.
Implementing proposals like these would require some time, and a solution cannot be found out instantly. With the IPL going on for the next two months, the BCCI has time to solve the issue before the Indian team dons the blue jersey the next time, during the Champions Trophy that starts from June.
Out of BCCI’s income of Rs. 1365 crore in 2016, only Rs. 56.35 crore was paid to the players. Considering the fact that the Australian and English players are paid better IPL retainers than their Indian counterparts, the players’ and support staff’s concerns are justified. With BCCI being the richest board in the world, the money should rightfully be given to the players, instead of giving a major chunk to the state associations. Hopefully, all the concerns will be addressed behind closed doors.