A bumper 100 percent hike is a dream for most employees but is now a reality for Indian cricketers who will go into the final Test vs Australia in Dharamsala knowing that the BCCI has just been very kind to them. But was the BCCI kind or did they just give in to the demands of Indian cricketers? Sources told NDTV that the Indian cricketers were not happy with their pay structure. Some of them who play IPL make a killing while the others are not happy with the kind of money they were getting from the world's richest cricket board. A prime example of that is Cheteshwar Pujara, a senior in the Test squad who didn't find any takers in the cash rich Indian Premier League.
Chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai calls this one of the reasons.
"There are a large number of issues which come into play when we revise them (contracts). It may not be disparity alone but we have to bring about a certain element of consistency between all the parties which are being employed by the BCCI," Rai told NDTV.
According to the new contracts, Grade A players will get Rs.2 crore per season, which is a 100 percent hike. Grade A contracted cricketers are skipper Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay.
Interestingly, Saurashtra cricketer Ravindra Jadeja after climbing to the top of the ICC Test rankings for bowlers has been duly rewarded with a Grade A contract. He was earlier in the second tier and will now earn as much as Kohli and Dhoni.
Grade B contract has also been increased from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore. Cricketers that fall in this pay-scale are Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuvraj Singh.
Grade C contract holders will get Rs.50 lakh. They are Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Ashish Nehra, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant.
Interestingly, Shikhar Dhawan has been demoted to a Grade C contract while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh & Suresh Raina don't mention in the annual contract list.
Apart from contracts, the match fees for the cricketers has also been doubled. Test players will now get Rs.15 lakh instead of the old amount of Rs.7 lakh. Playing a One-Day International will get a cricketer Rs.6 lakh and match fee for a Twenty20 International will be Rs.3 lakh.