Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India captain Virat Kohli has demanded that the annual retainer fee of Indian cricketers be increased.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA), who have been put in charge of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) already doubled the payment fee for centrally contracted players for the 2016/17 season. Under the current scheme, Grade A contracts are worth INR 2 crore, while cricketers with Grade B and Grade C contracts will receive INR 1 crore and INR 50 lakh respectively.
However, Kohli wants Grade A contracts to become INR 5 crore, Grade B contracts to be INR 3 crore and Grade C contracts to be INR 1.5 crore.
According to BCCI officials, Kohli’s demands came right after India’s 2-1 Test series win over Australia last month.
The 28-year-old wanted the annual retainer fee to go up after finding out that England, Australia and South Africa cricketers earn more.
“Kohli — supported by coach Anil Kumble — argued that while cricketers in England, Australia and South Africa could pick up a purse worth Rs 10-12 crores (inclusive of retainer fee and match fee), a top Indian cricketer would earn a maximum of Rs 4-5 crores (inclusive of retainer fee and match fee),” an official speaking from the office of CoA chairman Vinod Rai said. “The Indian skipper made it clear it was grossly unacceptable, at a time when the BCCI earned the maximum and was lobbying for a lion’s share from revenues of International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Kohli and his men, along with Kumble, even talked about bonus for the cricketers and how Indian cricketers earned less than some of their counterparts.
“It is an interesting move, and a well-planned one because Kohli has kept the interests of some of the seasoned campaigners in the side. He has not annoyed anyone, nor he has gone overboard to please some.”
The official added that Kohli has even mulled over the idea of creating a players association in order to ensure active players are taken care of financially.
“He (Kohli) has even thought of forming a players association to keep alive interests of those in various formats of the game,” the official said.
The official also noted that the issue will likely be looked at after the Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on Wednesday.
“It was too premature to comment on the issue. The agenda for the 5 April, 2017, meeting has already been set,” the official said.