The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has responded positively to Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri’s outcry on multiple occasions in the last year regarding the salary paid to the Indian cricketers. In April 2017, Ravi Shastri, who was not the coach at that time, said even the 2 crore rupees paid to the Grade A India men’s team cricketers was peanuts. Shastri was of the opinion that Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara must be paid the highest. Captain Kohli too expressed his unhappiness after BCCI increased the previous retainer amount of Rs 50 lakhs (in 2015-16) for grade A cricketers to Rs 1 crore for the 2016-17 period.
In December 2017, the Indian cricket board strongly indicated that it will substantially increase the cricketers’ salary, for the second year running. And, on Wednesday (March 7), the Committee of Administrators (CoA) announced the annual player contracts and revised the salaries of Grade A, Grade B and Grade C Indian cricket players for the period from October 2017 to September 2018. A new pay grade (Grade A+) has been introduced, while A, B and C remain as they were with changes made to the pay scale.
Provided below are the full details of the Indian cricket player salaries, their grades and more:
|Grade||Grade A+ (5)||Grade A (7)||Grade B (7)||Grade C (7)|
|Retainer amount (fee)||Rs 7 crores||Rs 5 crores||Rs 3 crores||Rs 1 crore|
Captain Virat Kohli, limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are part of the top-most grade (Grade A+). Being the first names on the team sheet for Tests, ODIs and T20Is, you can understand this quintet being in the category of the highest-paid players.
Former captain MS Dhoni, Test spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, specialist Test batsmen Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, and Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha are in Grade A. Saha is the new entrant to this grade list from the 2016-17 period, with Kohli moving to the A+ category.
Karnataka batsman Lokesh Rahul, Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav, limited-overs wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, pace bowling spearhead Ishant Sharma, and Dinesh Karthik, who has recently regained his place in the national side, are part of Grade B, who are paid Rs 3 crores according to the new annual player contracts.
The final grade, Grade C, comprises Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, and Jayant Yadav.
Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik are the new additions to the list of centrally-contracted players. Mohammed Shami’s contract has been withheld after his wife allegedly lodged a police complaint of adultery and domestic violence.
While 26 players have central contracts with the BCCI—six less than the number of players contracted last year (32)—as many as eight cricketers have lost theirs.
List of players excluded from BCCI contracts 2017-18:
- Yuvraj Singh (previously Grade B)
- Amit Mishra (previous Grade C)
- Dhawal Kulkarni (previously Grade C)
- Ashish Nehra (retired)
- Mandeep Singh (previously Grade C)
- Shardul Thakur (previously Grade C)
- Rishabh Pant (previously Grade C)
- Ambati Rayudu (previous Grade C)
With Virat Kohli and co. dominating world cricket across formats and India being the No. 1 Test and ODI team, only fitting that the players have been rewarded with a hike in their salaries.
Ravi Shastri, the head coach of the Indian cricket team, is already the highest-paid coach in world cricket, earning a salary of Rs 7.75 crore.