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Windfall in store for the Men in Blue and support staff?

According to reliable sources in the BCCI, Grade 1 cricketers, who are currently earning Rs 1 crore, are set to receive at least Rs 5 crore.

Published: 23rd February 2017 05:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2017 08:49 AM   |  A+A-

Indian captain Virat Kohli with teammates during a practice session ahead of the first test match against Australia in Pune on Wednesday. | PTI

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Team India players and support staff might hit the jackpot if things go in their favour. According to reliable sources in the BCCI, Grade 1 cricketers — who are currently earning Rs 1 crore — are set to receive at least Rs 5 crore. What makes their case interesting is that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court also seems to be on the same page.

Though most get fine contracts thanks to the IPL, Test regulars like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma went unsold in the auction.

The duo are in Grade B category of BCCI contracts, and that fetches them Rs 60 lakh. The story is similar for Ravindra Jadeja — currently the second-ranked Test bowler — who only has Grade C. That comes with an income of Rs 35 lakh. If the revisions come into place, Grade B players are likely to get Rs 2 crore, while those under Grade C will get `1 crore.

Though many Test nations have increased their annual contracts so that they don't lose players to various T20 leagues across the globe, the BCCI so far hasn’t had any such problem, since IPL contracts don’t allow that.

However, as the recent IPL auction on Monday showed, many cricketers with limited first-class experience get to earn more than Test stars. “The issue came up over three months back. But with the BCCI embroiled in a court tussle, things couldn’t be taken forward. The board had to seek Supreme Court’s permission and hence there was a long delay.

“With the committee in place, the players put forth their view again. Even the support staff — excluding head coach Anil Kumble — have been demanding a hike because they haven’t got one since they came on board in 2013,” sources on the board told Express on Wednesday.

There also seems to be another school of thought for the hike. According to sources, there have been concerns that bookies may be targeting those with non-lucrative IPL deals. Though no such incidents have taken place, the board seems to be aware of this potential threat.

“Our anti-corruption wing has been doing a great job, and it is a definite possibility for bookies to lure players. The money players make from BCCI contracts isn’t in sync with what others earn.

“When it comes to endorsements, only the likes of Virat Kohli get a good deal. May be (Ravichandran) Ashwin gets a few. But the rest don’t get such deals. It is a human thing to do, and it is good to address them,” said the official.

venkatakrishna@newindianexpress.com

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