The BCCI Is Working on a Pension Proposal for Former Cricket Players
Many are quick to say that cricket is a lucrative sport and it can very well be. However, this doesn’t apply to all professional cricket players. Sure, some of the richest people in the country are cricket athletes but it took a lot for them to be in that position.
Professional cricket players can earn at least £12,000 per year up to £625,000 per year but this depends on the league that they are playing in. Other factors that could affect how much they are earning include bonuses and incentives.
The prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) would play players from $28,000 to $10 million per year. Some of the cricketers that people would place bets on, on different IPL Betting Sites would earn millions from this single league alone. Last year, India’s national team captain Virat Kohli was able to bring home at least $2.4 million.
Dhaka Tribune once reported that the top-earning international cricketers could earn around £4000 a month, while less-earning players could only earn £1000 a month. This is even if they play on international stages. This is why aside from their salaries, other financial programs are important to many cricketers.
Recently, the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) has said that they are set to come up with a pension proposal for former players. This has been something that the Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has been demanding from the board for a while now.
According to former Test opener and now ICA representative Anshuman Gaekwad spoke about this when he was asked about the revision of pension benefits for former players during the launch of Sardar of Spin, a book about Bishan Singh Bedi.
Gaekwad said, "It was discussed in the last meeting. Sourav (BCCI president Ganguly) has assured he would come up with a proposal in the next meeting. [It’s] not [just about an] increase in pension, [but also about the] pension also for the widows. At the moment, it is 25 matches [players who get pension benefits], but it would come down to 10 [matches] gradually,” Gaekwad added.
The BCCI has also announced that domestic cricketers who are part of the 2020 to 2021 seasons and are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be paid an additional 50 percent match fee. This will serve as compensation for the disrupted matches. Their remuneration for the upcoming season was also increased.
BCCI general secretary took this to Twitter and said, "Cricketers who participated in 2019-20 Domestic Season will get 50 percent additional match fee as compensation for season 2020-21 lost due to COVID-19 situation."
This is something that the ICA representative was happy about. Gaekwad said, “It is a welcome decision. Not all good cricketers can play for India. Not all can earn the same kind of money. At least now, they don’t have to worry about their livelihood. A lot has already been done for domestic cricket and it is evident with the depth that we have in the national team.”
How Much Will the Players Be Paid?
When the Ranji Trophy had to be canceled for the first time in history, many Indian cricketers are reported to have struggled financially. The daily fee for the top Ranji cricketers who participated in more than 40 matches is now doubled to ₹60,000. This ensures that the players will earn ₹2.40 lakh for the first-class matches.
For players who were only part of 21 to 40 matches, they will be paid ₹50,000. Players with less participation will be able to get a remuneration of ₹40,000 per day. The increase will benefit over 2,000 male cricketers from under-16 to the senior league level.
Meanwhile, the players who are under-21 and under-19 category should be able to get ₹25,000 and 20,000 per day respectively. There will also be remuneration for women cricketers. Senior women players will be paid ₹20,000 per match instead of ₹12,500.
Aside from the ICA, the recommendations to increase the payouts of the players were also made by a committee made up of former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin. Other cricketers involved here are Yudhvir Singh, Santosh Menon, Jaydev Shah, Avishek Dalmiya, Rohan Jaitley, and Devajit Saikia.
"We have seen COVID was there last two years and, there was no cricket. Time has come and, we have to carry on. We just can't keep waiting for things to get normal. You take your precautions and get on with it,” the ICA representative added. The ICA’s demands do include pension for former players who have played less than 25 first-class matches and pension for widows of former players and women domestic cricketers.”