Sri Lankan players recently refused to sign their annual contracts due to reduced pay. In that context, Aakash Chopra did a comparative analysis of the highest-earning cricketers across the globe.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that it is a wrong notion that Indian cricketers are heavily paid, with the likes of Joe Root earning substantially more than Virat Kohli.
"If you feel the Indian players are paid a lot, you are actually wrong. Surprise surprise, Indian players are not exactly the highest-paid cricketers in the world. Imagine Root earning more than Virat Kohli for playing for their country."
The cricketer-turned-commentator shared the retainer amount paid to an Indian cricketer based on his contract grade and the fees paid per match. [Note - All amounts mentioned in this article are in INR.]
"The Indian players get a lot of money, Grade A+ contract is 7 crores, Grade A is 5 crores, Grade B is 3 crores and Grade C also gets 1 crore. You get 15 lakh per Test, 6 lakh per ODI and 3 lakh per T20I and whoever sits out gets half the amount."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that there are certainly some bonus amounts paid for exceptional individual performances.
"You get 5 lakh for scoring a century and for taking a 5-wicket haul as well. You get 7 lakh to make a double ton, so whoever plays Test cricket has a slightly higher reward."
Chopra highlighted that Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara are compensated somewhat based on the aforementioned numbers.
Aakash Chopra on the England cricketers' earnings
Aakash Chopra pointed out that England's all-format cricketers earn much more than the Indian players who have the A+ contract.
"The England Test contract is worth 6.7 crores, nearly the same as our A+ contract. The white-ball only contract gets 3.1 crore, which is not that great but not that bad. But players who play both, they get 9.8 crores."
The former India opener highlighted that Root's captaincy bonus helps him earn substantially more than Kohli.
"So Joe Root gets nearly 10 crores per year and that is not all, the team skipper gets a 25% bonus. So he is at a contract of 12.5 crores whereas our Virat Kohli has a contract of only 7 crores. Of course, the IPL money is different."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that the English players earn more than their Indian counterparts per match as well.
"Then you get 18.5 lakh for every Test match, ODI is 10 lakh and T20I is 5.1 lakh. They are way ahead of India, which is an eye-opener."
Aakash Chopra also expressed surprise at the Australian players being paid much less than the Indian and English cricketers. He highlighted that their main players have a contract of 1.6 crores and the captain gets 4.2 crores.