Player contracts: No great financial boost for India's domestic cricketers

Mar 09, 2018, 09:45 IST | Harit N Joshi

While the new central contracts have brought a windfall to the Indian international cricketers, there is no major difference in domestic cricketers' income despite the press release of the Board of Control for Cricket in India

Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare

While the new central contracts have brought a windfall to the Indian international cricketers, there is no major difference in domestic cricketers' income despite the press release of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) claiming a 200 per cent hike in match fees in each category. In the 'upfront payment' model for domestic cricketers, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) have sanctioned Rs 35,000 per day for a member in the playing XI and R17,500 for a reserve player participating in senior domestic tournaments.

It's a massive hike, considering the Rs10,000-match fee, a domestic cricketer draws per day currently. However, according to the new 'upfront payment' model, domestic cricketers will no more be entitled to the gross revenue share of 10.6 per cent from the BCCI. This was confirmed by a source, who was involved in the decision-making process. "The match fee will now include everything and there will be no waiting period for domestic players to get their share from the gross revenue," the source told mid-day.

Number crunching
When one does the number crunching, taking into account the average 20 matches (across all formats) a regular playing XI member plays in a year, the domestic cricketer will realise that there isn't much of a difference in their income. For example, considering an average domestic cricketer plays six Ranji Trophy four-day league matches, six one-dayers and eight T20s in a year. As per the prevalent structure of R10,000 per day as match fee for days, one-day games and Rs5,000 for a T20 tie, the average approximate income is R11.4 lakh which includes the gross revenue share from the BCCI. As per Wednesday's proposed match fee structure, a domestic cricketer's approximate annual income would be R11.9 lakh. On an average, a domestic player earns R12 to 15 lakh in a year. The gross revenue share varies depending upon the number of matches played and BCCI's annual income.

'Rich are getting richer'
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare expressed shock. "I was excited that we will now make at least R25 to R30 lakh in a year playing just domestic cricket considering the share from the gross revenue. But if the gross revenue is now part of the match fee, then it is very disappointing. So, the rich get richer, but domestic cricketers still get treated in a third-class manner.

"It is important for the CoA and the BCCI to know how much a domestic cricketer earns in the United Kingdom and Australia whose boards are as wealthy as the BCCI. Cricketers from those countries can make a decent living from those kind of payments," Tare said.

Regarding the match fees and gross revenue share of majority of the players held back by the BCCI for the last two seasons, the source said: "It has been held back because the BCCI has not conducted its Annual General Meeting for the last two years and without passing the annual accounts, payments for players cannot be released."

No breach of 26% ratio
The source also confirmed that CoA and BCCI management have not breached the 26 per cent ratio in preparing the central contracts. The R125-crore fund which would be created will not eat into the IPL surplus, the source said.

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