The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to significantly increase match fees, at least for men cricketers, after failing to get state organisations on board to grant central contracts to domestic cricketers. The pay raise is expected to be finalised at the BCCI’s highest council meeting on September 20 and the increase will be more than 40%.

Senior men’s domestic cricketers currently receive Rs. 35,000 every match day for the Ranji Trophy or the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The BCCI pays Rs. 17,500 per game for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. While these are the figures for active members, reserves are only paid half of what active members are paid.

The New Indian Express reported on the development, stating that the Apex Council Meeting on September 20 will make a final judgement. “They’ve been waiting for so long, and the bundle will be announced in a few days. We all agreed that not only the athletes, but also the match officials, ought to be fairly compensated. The domestic circuit is Indian cricket’s strength, and for it to be healthy, it must improve on all fronts”, a BCCI official aware of the developments stated.

The Ranji Trophy, India’s biggest domestic competition, has returned to the schedule in a new structure after a year-long break owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first-class competition will begin on January 13 in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, and Chennai, with the final taking place at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on March 16-20.

The competition will be played in a new structure this year, with teams divided into five top groups, each with six teams, and a Plate group with the remaining eight teams. Table tops from each Elite group will win direct qualification for the five-day Quarter-finals, unlike the previous two seasons. The Plate toppers and the second-placed teams from each of the five groups will then compete in a pre-quarterfinals to determine the final three QF sports.