How Players’ Salary Structures Work in IPL

According to Statista, the two former Indian captains, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, were the top-paid players of the IPL 2021 season.

How Players' Salary Structures Work in IPL
How Players' Salary Structures Work in IPL
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It’s no doubt that cricketers get handsome retainers from the respective cricket boards. Apart from that, they also earn through sponsorships. But even those amounts are dwarfed by what they make from lucrative leagues such as the IPL. According to Statista, the two former Indian captains, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, were the top-paid players of the IPL 2021 season. They earned $2.66 million and $2.34 million, respectively. 

Any fantasy cricket game will have you taking control of player reimbursement and will give you an inkling of their potential earnings from the IPL and how they are paid. Playing them means the fate of your virtual team is in your hands. So choose carefully!

To understand the finer points of their wage structure and how the wage amounts are arrived at, read on to know more.

1. Players Set Their Base Price

Players communicate their base price and are divided into groups based on their speciality. This is apart from the select group of ten marquee players who will be the first to go under the hammer.

At any IPL auction, there are three categories of players: 

  • Capped Indian Players. 
  • Uncapped Indian Players.
  • Overseas Players – They can come from any full or associate member of the ICC. Overseas players need to present a communication from their parent board that paves their way to participate in the IPL.

Following the marquee players, the next in line are the capped players based on the following specializations:

  • Batters
  • All-rounders
  • Wicketkeeper-batters
  • Fast Bowlers
  • Spin Bowlers

Bringing up the rear are the uncapped players who are sorted in the same way as mentioned above. The auctioneer will alternate between capped and uncapped players every few rounds.

This chart shows how much the franchises spend on average toward player salaries for a single season. From it, we can see that the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are most willing to open their purse strings wide to snare the best talent. Mumbai Indians, in particular, don’t hold back as they have decidedly deep pockets to form the winning combination they need. And this shows in the five titles they have won. While Bangalore, despite showing plenty of promise and effort, has yet to clinch the IPL Trophy.

2. Contracts Are For a Minimum of Three Years:

Once a player has been picked by a franchise for the agreed sum, the player and the franchise sign a contract, thus binding the rate for the next three years. The contract is renewable every year, and the franchise is bound to pay the agreed rate irrespective of whether the player is in the playing eleven or not.

The contract is a three-way agreement with the players, the BCCI, and the franchise being the three signatories. This is to ensure that the player is paid his dues and all the conditions of the contract are fulfilled.

In case of any default in payment by the franchise, the BCCI will step in and make the payment on the franchise’s behalf. This amount will be deducted from the franchise’s share of revenue held in an escrow account.

The BCCI transfers 20% of an overseas player’s earnings for the season to the Cricket Board the player belongs. The BCCI, too, shares a percentage of its revenue with the players, depending on how many matches they have played.

3. Payments Are Split Into Three Parts

Any payment due to the players are paid over the course of the tournament. This approach was proposed at the 15th edition of the IPL held in 2022.

  • 20% to be paid within ten days of the start of the season.
  • 60% shall be paid when the season is underway.
  • The final 20% shall be paid upon completion of the season.

Any payments are subject to local tax laws and require the franchises to deduct tax at the prescribed rates before paying the players. For local players, the tax rate is 10%, while overseas players have to pay 20%.

4. Players Get Paid Only If Available

In case of unforeseen events, such as injury to players or if their respective cricket boards call them up for national duties, they get paid a retainer amounting to 10% of their auction price. Once the player rejoins the franchise, they get paid for every match they appear.

The 2023 IPL, which is the tournament’s 16th edition, has seen records falling like nine pins. We are not talking about on-field records but the fat pay packets the participating cricketers take home.

Thanks to England all-rounder Sam Curran’s match-winning performance at the ICC T20 World Cup, where he ended up with bowling figures of 3/3, he was the subject of a tug-of-war between CSK and the Punjab Kings. In the end, he was snapped up for an eye-watering $2.26 million by the Punjab team.

Fellow England teammate Ben Stokes, young batsman Harry Brook, and Australia’s Cameroon Green were some of the other players who hit the jackpot at the player auction.

The IPL has provided a significant boost for the domestic players, both in terms of their careers and financial stability. The winning team players are also assured of incentives in addition to the prize money. Individual performances are rewarded under various categories, such as those who score maximum sixes, the man of the match, and best fielder awards. Those who bag the most wickets and runs during the competition are handsomely rewarded once the tournament ends.

As franchises battle one another in their offer to woo the best players, the players are the real winners as they relish the attention showered on them thanks to their talents. They also laugh all the way to the bank with their winnings in tow.