- Saiman Das
Team India head coach Anil Kumble and skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday demanded a massive pay hike for Grade A contract players and the support staff in a meeting with the BCCI top brass on Sunday.
On the sidelines of the IPL -final in Hyderabad, Kumble gave a detailed presentation to the Committee of Administrators (COA) and the BCCI office bearers- CEO Rahul Johri, joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary. Virat Kohli joined them via Skype. Though both Kumble and Kohli spoke separately, they were unanimous in their demand for a 150 percent pay rise for Grade A players.
What it implies?
Grade A contracted players currently take home 2 crores a year. Grade B players earn 1 crore and Grade C players take home 50 lakhs. The hike, if implemented will increase the earnings of Grade A players to Rs.5 crores per annum. Vinod Rai and Vikram Limaye, COA members heard everything that Kumble and Kohli had to say and instructed the BCCI office-bearers to take note of Kumble’s presentation. The BCCI office bearers will now study the proposal and take a call in this regard, with the final approval coming from the COA.
A senior BCCI source revealed to the media, “Although Anil and Virat spoke separately, both stressed on the fact that performers in Test cricket should be kept in the highest bracket. Also, there is someone like Cheteshwar Pujara, who is not getting IPL contracts whereas someone like Pawan Negi, who doesn’t even play Ranji Trophy gets Rs 8.5 crore for 45 days. That’s something that needs to be worked out.”
Hike for the Support-Staff:
Kumble also demanded a notable increment for all the support staff of the team. This demand raised a few eyebrows since he himself would be a direct beneficiary of the same. If sources are to be believed, he asked for a 50 percent hike in the salaries of batting coach Sanjay Bangar, fielding coach R Sridhar and the team’s trainer, physio, video analyst and throw-down specialist in addition to himself. Kumble takes home approximately 6.25 crores a year.
An official stated, “I won’t quote the figure but it’s a substantial raise that Kumble has demanded himself also. Now while raising the issue of players, whether it was prudent on Kumble’s part to demand hike for support staff of which he is a direct beneficiary is a question.”
What’s our take on this?
We do believe that the demands are worth considering. India had a triumphant Test season and it is only fair that the sculptors of the victories earn what they deserve. The Board should hold Test Cricket in the highest echelons and should reward the test-team regulars accordingly. The support team has done a wonderful job, moulding the team into match-winners. A pay rise for them is not exorbitant either.
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