Kohli leads pay rise call for India cricketers

Virat Kohli (Getty)
Virat Kohli (Getty)

Nagpur - National team skipper Virat Kohli has demanded a greater share of India's growing cricket wealth for players ahead of contract talks this week, officials said.

Top players saw their annual basic deals doubled to $300 000 this year.

But the Indian squad, who are due to hold talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in New Delhi on Friday, want more after the governing body struck a huge new television deal in September. 

The BCCI will get $2.5 billion from Rupert Murdoch's Star India channel to show the Indian Premier League from 2018 to 2022. 

Player contracts expired on September 30 and salaries are one of the key negotiating points.

A senior board official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that "the players want a raise" and that Kohli will lead the talks with former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and current coach Ravi Shastri. 

They will meet BCCI administrator Vinod Rai in New Delhi to discuss pay and the packed cricket calendar which Kohli has also criticised. 

"It's always healthy to be transparent and that's what BCCI is trying to be. Kohli and the players are always welcome to put their point across," the official said. 

Rai heads a committee of administrators appointed by India's Supreme Court to run BCCI affairs and reform the world's wealthiest cricket governing body. 

Currently the national squad has three salary grades, with Kohli and other senior players at the top. "We have modified it and have started a process where we consult the players," said Rai.

"We had two rounds of consultation and we will do another one just before the Delhi Test," Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, added. India start the third Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday. 

Rai has backed Kohli's criticism of the scheduling of tours and the issue is expected to be discussed at the meeting. 

Kohli had hit out at BCCI, ahead of the second Test in Nagpur, for better planning of tours, especially ahead of an important series in South Africa starting in January. 

India will finish their home series against Sri Lanka on December 24 with the third Twenty20 before leaving for South Africa on December 28. Kohli is to be rested for the one-day games against Sri Lanka. 

They are to play a two-day warm-up match starting December 30 before taking on the Proteas in the first Test from January 5.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8732 votes
Cricket
11% - 2220 votes
Football
19% - 3990 votes
Athletics
2% - 511 votes
Boxing
1% - 186 votes
Cycling
2% - 482 votes
Golf
5% - 1020 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1760 votes
Tennis
3% - 709 votes
Water sports
1% - 195 votes
American sports
1% - 256 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 650 votes
Vote