Kohli, Dhoni set to demand pay rise for Team India

India Training Session
Kohli will join Dhoni and Shastri in meeting with the BCCI
Aadya Sharma

What’s the story?

Having been handed a well-needed rest for the limited-overs leg of the ongoing Sri Lanka series, Team India captain Virat Kohli will re-open talks with the BCCI about a possible hike in the team members’ salaries.

"It's always healthy to be transparent and that's what BCCI is trying to be. Kohli and the players are always welcome to put their point across,” an official close to the BCCI told AFP.

In case you didn’t know…

Earlier this year, the BCCI had released annual contracts for the ongoing season, which saw doubling of the annual retainer values from last year. The current value is Rs. 2 crore for players in the A grade (a total of seven cricketers). Grade B and Grade C players earn Rs. 1 crore and Rs. 50 Lakh respectively.

On top of that, the BCCI also increased player match fees, hiking it from Rs. 7 Lakh to Rs. 15 Lakh in Tests, and from Rs. 2 Lakh to Rs. 3 Lakh in T20Is.

The heart of the matter

The new changes in the pay structure were incorporated for the first time since 2010, but several players were reportedly still unhappy, even with the new tweak, stating that Australian and English players received higher retainers.

The previously existing contracts expired on September 30, and with the BCCI pocketing Rs. $2.5 billion from its latest deal with Star India (for the broadcast of the Indian Premier League), the players also want a piece of the cake, as they have been demanding a raise for a while.

What’s next?

Kohli, along with MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri, will start a new round of talks with the BCCI, and the trio is scheduled to meet Vinod Rai, head of the Committee of Administrators, on Friday.

Author’s take

In 2016, out of BCCI’s income of Rs. 1365 crore, only Rs. 56.35 crore was given to the players, the rest going to the state associations.

The BCCI is now giving importance to the players’ demands, especially with the Supreme Court-appointed CoA in place, and has proposed a system by which the cricketers can put forward their views and negotiate with the Board.

Hopefully, the concerns regarding the players will be addressed soon, and behind closed doors.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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