Like all famous athletes, cricket celebrities earn a lot. In fact, the sheer size of their salary is impressive, and if you add the many perks of the job, it seems they must be perfectly content with their working conditions.
However, this is not always the case. For example, as sporsadda says, Bangladesh’s national team has gone on strike in an effort to have their pay increased. Here is a look at some pay disagreements the industry has seen.
Sources of Discontent
Cricket follows certain economic rules. There are decisions concerning pay, perks and working conditions, and there are associations that represent cricketers and use collective bargaining.
In 2017, Cricket Australia disagreed with the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) regarding money and working conditions. While CA was threatening to leave cricketers without pay, the union and top players promised to boycott upcoming competitions, including the Ashes series.
From 2012 to 2017, Australian cricketers received around a quarter — between 24.5% and 27% of the revenue (the better the player — the higher the pay). In comparison, other athletes on the continent were eligible for between 25% (rugby league) and low 30s (football and rugby union). In the USA, the pay is more generous — reaching half of the revenue. European footballers receive even more — up to 70%.
Lessons of the Past
In the 1970s, when World Series Cricket was being formed, media mogul Kerry Packer started luring in top players by profitable annual contracts from $16,500 to $35,000. Back then, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) was neither contracting players nor paying sizeable amounts (between $180 and $2,000 for home Tests in the 1970-1977 period).
Broadcasting rights had long belonged to the ABC, which was the national broadcaster. Packer attempted to change the situation and eventually had to offer the media corporation a lucrative offer in 1979.
Some aspects of the latest cricket disputes are reminiscent of the 1990s, while others are drastically different. Similarities may be found in the fact that, for instance, CA chose to bypass the ACA in their communication with the players, who stood behind the ACA. CA was planning to offer state players one-off payments disconnected from revenue, which went against ACA’s policies.
Here are a few facts to outline the present situation with cricket pay.
- In 2018, the best-paid cricket captain in the international game stood to make almost 20 times as much as the lowest-paid.
- The most popular players in the world get roughly $1 million from participating in international competitions.
- In terms of payment, the most lucrative Pakistani annual contract is still worth less than a similar contract in Ireland.
- Being a coach on a subcontinent side pays well, despite the lack of job security.
- Players of the BCCI receive 26% of the organization’s gross revenue annually. Half of it goes to international cricketers. The earnings of each player depend on how many matches they participate in.
- Cricketers from England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa get a certain proportion of the board’s commercial earnings, which is stipulated in their contracts as a guaranteed payment. Cricket South Africa and a few other boards add these amounts to the retainer.
- BCCI has recently doubled the remuneration paid to Indian cricketers. Players receive from Rs. 7 Cr. (around $1 million) to Rs. 1 Cr (around $140,600) a year depending on the grade.
- Superstar Virat Kohli has earned around $1 million in 2019, while Indian coach Ravi Shastri got $1.17 million, which is similar to what top players are paid.