DNA Special: ‘Well paid’ cricketers in India, not ‘well played’

After the second consecutive defeat of the Indian team in the T20 World Cup on Sunday evening, you must be in a very bad mood. 24 hours have passed since this defeat and still, you must be wondering how can India’s team lose so badly without a fight. So today, we will try to find out what is going on in the Indian team. In Sunday’s match, the advertisement of an online payment company was coming again and again in which Virender Sehwag is interviewing Virat Kohli and Virat Kohli is praising the app. In this advertisement, Virender Sehwag is happy with Kohli’s answer and says – Well Played Virat. It is also true that our players are very well paid but why are they not playing nowadays to make people say ‘Well Played’ and today we will try to understand this.

In Sunday’s match, India had given New Zealand a target of just 111 runs. But despite this, a lot of people in our country expected that we would get the New Zealand team out and win the match. Till the end, people kept thinking that just now some miracle will happen. But nothing of the sort happened and India lost the match. There were many reasons for this defeat and the first and biggest reason is team selection.

After the loss to Pakistan, it seemed that R Ashwin would definitely get a place in the team. But he was once again replaced by Varun Chakravarthy, who does not have much experience in international cricket. Apart from this, despite poor performance and injury, Hardik Pandya was given opportunities, due to which the team suffered a lot. Making some changes, Ishan Kishan and Shardul Thakur were included in the team but they too could not do much. It was the result of wrong team selection that when the players of India were batting, it seemed that the pitch was favourable for the bowlers. And when India bowled it seemed as if the pitch was good for batting.

In 2020, there were 370 deals of advertisements with players of different sports in India, out of which 275 deals were signed only by cricketers. At present, India’s sports industry is worth Rs 6,000 crore, in which the share of cricket is 87 per cent i.e. Rs 5,200 crore. In any match, 11 players come on the field, that is, the average share of every cricket player in this market of advertising and sports is Rs 470 crore.

India’s sports budget for one year is only Rs 2,500 crore. Whereas in today’s date, the value of IPL is around Rs 46,000 crore, which is 19 times more than the sports budget of India. Not only this, the two new teams of Lucknow and Ahmedabad that have been included in the IPL have been bought for Rs 12,700 crore, that is, the value of these two teams is also 5 times more than the sports budget of India.

Every year 144 to 200 Indian and foreign players take part in the IPL. Accordingly, the market value of each player comes to Rs 319 crore. Whereas the Sports Authority of India, which prepares players to win medals in the Olympics in India, has got only Rs 660 crore in the budget this year.

Whereas, now 10 teams of IPL can spend a maximum of Rs 90 crore to buy players, that is, these teams will have Rs 900 crore for the purchase of players, which is much more than this year’s budget of Sports Authority of India.

By the end of the year 2018 and 2019, the total assets of BCCI were about Rs 14.5 crore. According to this, BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world.

BCCI earns the most by selling the rights to broadcast cricket matches. In the year 2017, BCCI sold the rights to broadcast IPL to a media company for Rs 16,347 crore, which is for five years. Apart from this, BCCI also earns crores of rupees every year from sponsorship.

Whose responsibility is it to keep earning so much money for BCCI? It is the responsibility of the 11 players who are on the field. You will be surprised to know that during IPL 2020, companies had to spend Rs 12.5 lakh to show 10-second advertisements during matches.

How did Indian players have become a money-making machine for media companies and BCCI, you can understand this with an example. The media company that had the rights to broadcast the Cricket World Cup in 2019 was asking for Rs 30 to 35 lakh for 10 seconds of advertising in the final match of the World Cup but when India’s team was out of the tournament after losing to New Zealand in the semi-final, these rates came down to Rs 10 to 15 lakh per 10 seconds.

Seeing the advertisements coming in the break during the match on Sunday, you must have also felt that our players are playing less on the field and acting more in advertisements.

During this, you will also see advertisements of many such apps where you can build your team and earn money from it. It’s a gamble. These ads also have a disclaimer at the end that you can get addicted to them and there is a financial risk involved. The market of online betting on cricket in India is Rs 22,000 crore and on average in India, 14 crore people make their team on these apps and invest money in it. And in the days of IPL, the number of people doing this increases to 37 crores. While the number of smartphone users in India is 74 crore. That is, more than half of the people of India using smartphones legally bet on cricket. This is the market of betting on which there is no legal prohibition of any kind, while according to a report, the value of betting on cricket illegally in India is worth Rs 9 lakh crore. This is three times the defence budget of India.

From this, you can understand how big is the cricket market in India. If everything legal and illegal is taken together, then India’s cricket is worth Rs 10 to 15 lakh crore.

There are 140 countries in the whole world whose total GDP is less than this. This will give you an idea of why our players are well paid, but not well played.

Overall, it seems that our players are living in this misunderstanding where they think that this glow is forever. And in the midst of this glow, cricket has now become a TV reality show instead of a game and our players have become a money-making machine from it. And perhaps this is the reason why our players now seem not brave but tired soldiers.

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