Cricket players get new contracts, restructured pay

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced new central contracts on Thursday, almost doubling the retainership and match fee for international players. But how much the players will benefit from the review is the moot point. According to the board’s policy, the players would have got this money anyway as they are entitled for the 13 per cent share of its income. As a BCCI official put it, “It is their (players’) money that is being disbursed.”On the face of it, the beneficiaries would be those contracted players who don’t get to play too many matches or no match at all for whatever reason.

In that case, they would be assured of their retainerships — based on their grades, which is fixed at Rs1 crore for Grade A, Rs50 lakh for Grade B and Rs25 lakh for Grade C players. For the rest, the money earned is more than the sum of retainership and match fee.Generally, the BCCI disburses players’ share basing on the points — three points for a Test and a point for an ODI — each player accumulates every year after deducting their match fee and retainership paid to them.One key attribute of the point system is those who play more Tests end up earning more money as they accumulate more points.

It means, Rahul Dravid, a Test specialist, would be earning more than an ODI specialist. Needless to say, players like MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, who are regulars in both formats, earn more as they accumulate more points.Coming to this year’s contracts, the BCCI did away with Grade D and reduced the number of contracted players’ from 41 last year to 24. It has also downgraded out of favour Yuvraj Singh from Grade A to B. Suresh Raina has been elevated to A Grade.

There are nine in A grade, seven in B grade and eight in C Grade. The BCCI has increased the Test match fee from existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs7 lakh, ODI fee from Rs1.8 lakh to Rs4 lakh and doubled the T20 International fee to Rs2 lakh. But then again, the Board is paying this from the players’ share only. That means even if there was no match fee at all, the players would have earned as much money. In other words, it has simply rearranged the payment formation of the players.


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