Last week, it was a concerned BCCI that backed the Indian team wholeheartedly when the latter had reservations going into the final Test of the five-match series in England at Old Trafford.
This week, it was once again a concerned BCCI coming to the aid of hundreds of domestic cricketers who – for lack of any domestic cricket last season – were at risk of losing out any annual income arising out of the game.
The BCCI, on Tuesday, announced that it would not only increase match fees for players across all age groups in men’s and women’s domestic cricket across the country from this season onwards, but also compensate all domestic players for last season’s Ranji Trophy and women’s T20 games – that were curtailed due to Covid – and pay them 50% of their deserving compensation this year.
These moves have the backing of BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who had told TOI last year that the cricket board would look at player compensations, apropos of cricket being played.
The BCCI has decided to alter the players’ domestic pay structure across age groups. Those part of the first eleven in First Class matches will now earn Rs 35,000 a day while players warming the bench would get Rs 17,500 – in major domestic tournaments such as the Ranji and Duleep Trophy.
However, to reward consistency, the BCCI has now decided to create payment slabs for players and has divided these slabs into three categories.
Senior players, having played 20 matches or more, will now get Rs 40,000 per match day while reserves will get Rs 20,000 per match day. Those part of the eleven and having featured in anywhere between 21 and 40 matches, will now be paid Rs 50,000 while those in the reserves will earn Rs 25,000. Players who have played more than 40 matches will now receive Rs 60,000, while the reserves will be paid Rs 30,000.
“The primary agenda of the 9th Apex Council meeting of the BCCI was to compensate our domestic cricketers and we have put out a well-structured remuneration plan for them. We will also be allotting 50% match fees for the truncated 2020-21 Ranji season. I’m very pleased with the outcome of the meeting,” Shah told the media on Tuesday.
The renewed compensation now guarantees an established First-Class cricketer to earn close to Rs 30 lac per season for seven weeks of cricket, potentially a hike of Rs one lac per First-Class game to the existing amount.
“The increase of match fee for domestic cricketers is another welcome step and this move will ensure that professional cricketers can solely focus on playing cricket and get appropriately rewarded. Domestic cricket is our backbone, and we will make every effort to keep it strong and healthy so that our bench strength at all levels always remains superior,” Shah added.
Going forward, the Under-25 cricketers will receive a hike too. Those part of the playing eleven will now receive Rs 25,000 per match day while those on the bench will receive Rs 12,500. In the previous compensation model, these players were drawing Rs 17,500 and Rs 8,750 per match day respectively. Similarly, match-day fees for Under-19 and Under-16 cricketers have also been increased. Players in the eleven will now earn Rs 20,000 while those on the bench will get Rs 10,000 going forward.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, who has worked on these figures with Shah, says the whole idea of this exercise has been to try and compensate players better, in line with their contributions at every level. “They invest primary years of their lives playing the game, a game they love and enjoy. It is the BCCI’s responsibility to ensure that compensations are in line with the effort they’re putting in. The longer they play and the more consistent they stay, the better they get paid,” Dhumal said.