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How much does an Indian domestic cricketer earn?

Last updated on 27 Jun 2023 | 01:24 PM
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How much does an Indian domestic cricketer earn?

Cricketers, who have played more than 40 matches, are receiving ₹60,000 per day. But what about others? Let's find out

Another domestic season is upon us. The Duleep Trophy will kick start the 2023-24 season with six zones fighting it out across Alur and Bengaluru to get a slice of the pie. Does any of it matter in the larger scheme of things? Perhaps, there is a bigger debate to be done, with Anirudh Suresh giving a pretty good presentation of why the unfairness sometimes becomes too tedious to comprehend. 

But as the domestic season comes alive, one can’t underestimate the financial muscle that continues to fuel it and how much it matters to the toilers in domestic cricket, who ply their trade without a contract. Because for many, that’s the only source of income amidst all the uncertainties that make the lives of the majority of the professional cricketer in India without an IPL contract a pitiful one.

The 2021 revision in the pay structure came as a source of many smiles - a long overdue that was overlooked multiple times in dispute BCCI racking up the coffers with billions of dollars.

According to the salary revision, since the 2021-22 season, Ranji cricketers, who have played more than 40 matches, are receiving ₹60,000 per day, while those who have played 21 to 40 matches are paid ₹50,000. Players with experience less than that are entitled to a remuneration of ₹40,000 per day.

Then how was that different from the previous one? Between 2016 to 2020, a senior domestic cricketer used to earn INR 1,40,000 from a four-day Ranji Trophy game if he was in the playing XI and exactly half the amount if on the bench. 

This structure was brought forward by the Vinod Rai-led Committee of Administrators, and players were given a hike of 250% from the previous match-fees model that was in operation for 10 years between 2007 to 2016. 

The 2021 model, introduced by the BCCI, was designed as an equitable force with players with 40-plus caps to their name standing to gain a 71% hike and players with less than 20 games on their resume gaining a 14.28% raise. Once players bag 20 caps, they will receive 50,000 rupees per day before jumping to the next bracket. 

Where do women’s cricketers stand?

Last year, the BCCI decided to bring the equal pay policy for all the women’s international matches, who now, like the men, earn 15 lakh for a Test, 6 lakh for an ODI, and 3 lakh for a T20I. Earlier, players used to make a flat INR 1 lakh for an ODI or T20I appearance and 2.5 lakhs for a Test match.

However, the stories of the women’s domestic cricketers are contrastingly different. After the 2021 revision, senior women’s players are now paid ₹20,000 per match instead of ₹12,500 earlier for a domestic one-day game. Given there is no first-class women’s competition in India, the overall income of a domestic women’s cricketer in a year is approximately similar to what a men’s first-class cricketer would earn in a match and a half. That doesn’t paint a rosy picture, does it?

Age-group cricketers smile

The revision brought smiles to the faces of budding cricketers because it meant men's Under-23 players now earning 25,000 rupees per day from 17,500 earlier, whereas Under-19s in the playing XIs getting 20,000 rupees per day. The youngest members in the system - the under-16 players - are now securing 7000 rupees per day. 

This structure is applicable only for players in the playing XIs, with the reserve players receiving the 50% of match fees. For the women’s age-group category - irrespective of the age group - players will get 10,000 rupees per day, with the reserves earning 5000 rupees. 

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