Having been unable to get the state associations on board to offer central contracts to domestic cricketers, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to substantially hike match fees, at least for the men cricketers.
The BCCI apex council is likely to finalise the pay hike during its meeting on September 20. Sportstar understands that the hike will be more than 40 per cent.
At the moment, senior men domestic cricketers earn Rs. 35,000 per match-day for the Ranji Trophy or Vijay Hazare Trophy. For the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the BCCI pays Rs. 17,500 per game. While these are the figures for playing members, reserves are paid half.
When Sourav Ganguly took charge as the BCCI president in October 2019, one of the major announcements by the former India captain was to introduce central contracts for domestic cricketers through state associations.
However, with the states pointing out difficulties in introducing central contracts, the BCCI has decided to take the onus, and the apex council is likely to increase the match fees to at least Rs. 50,000 per match day for First Class and One-Dayers and half of it for the T20s.
A BCCI insider stressed that “despite the increased match fees, state associations are welcome to offer central contracts”.
The additional match fees will also compensate for the reduced number of matches. Till 2019-20, the last Ranji season, each team was assured of at least eight First-Class games. With the revised structure, the number of league games has come down to five.
The apex council is also likely to finalise the compensation package for a curtailed 2020-21 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After consulting with the working group for domestic cricket, the BCCI office-bearers are set to propose 50 to 70 per cent of the lost match fees for Ranji Trophy. The eligibility criteria are likely to be based on the players who featured in the last two seasons of the tournament.
While the compensation package will also include women cricketers, they would be hoping for a hike in match fees too. For now, they are paid Rs. 12,500 per match for One-Dayers and Rs. 6,250 per T20.