The last 12 months have been nothing less than a fairy tale for Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan. Before the start of the Indian Premier League in April, the southpaw lost his place in the national side and was suddenly the fourth choice opener in ODIs behind Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. He was even left out of the ICC Champions Trophy squad. However, a good IPL season coupled with an injury to KL Rahul helped Dhawan book a seat to England. The rest is history!
The former Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper has not been out of form since then. He was the Man of the Tournament in the Champions Trophy, followed it with a great Test season and was right behind Virat Kohli in the leading-scorers list in South Africa. And the efforts seem to be paying off, literally.
Shikhar Dhawan will now be earning more in a month than what he was in a year. BCCI has rewarded Dhawan by promoting him from Grade C to A+ in its new annual contract, taking his salary from Rs 50 lakh per annum to a whopping Rs 7 crore. This means that Dhawan will be earning Rs 58 lakh per month which is even more than what he was earning in a year.
The pay hike corresponds to a staggering 1300% increase which is even more than what senior players like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni got. Both these cricketers were earlier placed in Grade A with a salary of Rs 2 crore. While Kohli was promoted to the newly formed Grade A+ with an annual salary of Rs 7 crore, Dhoni was kept in Grade A but his earnings were raised to Rs 5 crore.
A BCCI official said that selectors have applied a simple logic that players who play more, will be get paid more. He said that this is why players like MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who represent the country in just one or two formats, have not been placed in the top grade.
Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, the top bracket includes skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. “The five in question are indispensable in all three formats right now. They deserved to be paid more. Also Ravi Shastri, Kohli and Dhoni have been taken into confidence,” the official added.
The board decided to form Group B with those players who can be used across any form but are not regular starters. This list includes KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Karthik.
BCCI also had some good news for domestic players. Their per day fee has been increased to Rs 35,000 which means that all those in the playing XI will be paid a whopping Rs 1.4 lakh per match for a four-day game.