Decision to increase players’ contract may affect IPL revenues or state bodies’ share

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Decision to increase players’ contract may affect IPL revenues or state bodies’ share

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SportsCafe Desk


With Virat Kohli and four other players getting an A+ contract (7 crores) under the new contract structure, CoA head Vinod Rai reckons that either IPL revenues or the revenue the state associations used to generate may take a hit. He also explained why the new structure was brought in place.

The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Wednesday (March 7) announced a new contract system under which the contracted players are split into four categories – Grade A+ (7 crore), Grade A (5 crore), Grade B (3 crore) and Grade C (1 crore). Grade A+ was the newly introduced category. 

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan were the five players who obtained the A+ contract. There are seven players in Grade A which includes former skipper MS Dhoni and other senior players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and others. Grade B and Grade C categories also have seven players each. 

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) head, Vinod Rai, in an interview, explained how the players were put into different categories and why they decided to go in with a new structure. He also revealed that he was impressed by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, and MS Dhoni for what they wanted. 

“In any corporate structure, the pyramid is sharp at the top with only a handful getting huge money. But what we wanted was that the pyramid should be flat at the top with as many players. So, now we have two top grades – A+ and A, with both including 12 players together. I was impressed by India captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Ravi Shastri with whom I met twice in Delhi. They wanted an increment mainly for mid-level players as they don’t have sponsorship etc,” Rai explained, reported Hindustan Times.

Rai further added that the state bodies used to eat up about 70 percent of the revenue share. Hence, it was time that the top players and the real stakeholders got a bigger share. But the Board had also been thinking of creating a Players’ Payment Fund, a Rs.122-crore corpus from out of IPL revenues.

“This is one of the models that was discussed but ideally we wouldn’t want to touch IPL revenues,” the CoA head revealed. 

The Board was also upset with the decision to increase retainership  (from Rs.31 crore in the last contract to Rs.98 crore now). The Board members felt that the decision is ill-timed as the media rights auction is in 20 days and there would’ve been a clearer picture what kind of revenue it’ll get for the next four years. 

“If they would have waited for 20 days and known what kind of money BCCI will get through media rights, the true picture of revenues would have emerged and then they could have proceeded accordingly. Ultimately, the increment could also put a strain on the fees of domestic cricketers. We have no issues in giving extra money to players who have no IPL contracts like Cheteshwar Pujara,” said an official who is not authorised to speak on behalf of BCCI.

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