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
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
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
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.