NEW DELHI: India captain Virat Kohli and his predecessor MS Dhoni’s demand for a pay hike for the team was on Thursday accepted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which also took their inputs on the issue of cramped scheduling.
Kohli and Dhoni, along with national coach Ravi Shastri, met CoA chief Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.
“We had extensive discussions with players on issues that pertain to them directly, which means the number of matches they have to play, the Future Tours Program (FTP) and compensation package etc,” Rai told reporters after the meeting which lasted more than two hours.
“All the inputs they have to give us were taken and we are going to factor those in. The FTP, we bounced it off them. Presentations have been made and they are in agreement with the FTP so that they get enough rest. Number of days, I can’t tell you as we have not yet worked it out,” Rai said.
As per the current pay structure, contracted Grade A players are paid Rs two crore annually, Grade B players are in the Rs one crore bracket, followed by Grade C at Rs 50 lakh per year.
The per Test match fee for the first XI players stands at Rs 15 lakh, while they are paid Rs six lakh and Rs three lakh per ODI and Twenty20 respectively. The players outside first XI but in the squad are paid half these amounts. Former coach Anil Kumble, during a presentation to the COA, had demanded Rs five crore for the Grade A players.
The modalities of the new pay structure are, however, not yet known.
“This was a path-breaking initiative, we feel we’ve found a common ground and aligned our thoughts for the betterment of the game – be it the policies under which the player remuneration and FTP will be worked upon,” Rai stated.
It has also been reliably learnt that the Indian team, which is scheduled to play a full series in England between July and September next year, will travel there two weeks in advance to get acclimatised with the conditions.
This comes after Kohli complained of lack of time to prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa for which the team is scheduled to leave on December 27, just a couple of days after winding up a home series against Sri Lanka.
On the proposed pay hike, Rai did not spell out the remuneration plan but said that both Kohli and Dhoni were in agreement with the structure which is being worked out.
“The principles on which compensation package has to be structured, that has been agreed to. It’s only a question of numbers now. We will now match the revenue with compensation that each player receives,” the former CAG chief said.
When asked if there will be separate structures for red and white ball specialists, Rai said: “There was no discussion on this topic.”
He claimed he was unaware of reports that the Indian Premier League would be telecast live on Doordarshan.
Rai did not forget to mention that players were happy that representatives of BCCI were having a dialogue with them instead of intimating them after taking unilateral decisions.
“All the discussions were very fruitful and they (Kohli and Dhoni) were very receptive as a consequence of which it’s the first time that anyone is having a dialogue with them. Otherwise it used to be decisions taken and just communicated to them,” Rai concluded.