It is a well-known fact that before the liberalisation of Indian economy, the cricketers who represented the country were paid salaries that are a pittance compared to what players of this current generation earn. Even 20-25 years ago, international cricketers were earning a fortune in comparison to the money that the likes of Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar made.
When India won the 1983 World Cup, members of the victorious team hardly made any financial gains. In fact, Lata Mangeshkar, an ardent cricket fan herself, performed at a concert to raise money that can be given as a reward to the triumphant players.
Now, a sheet listing the salaries of Indian players for a one-day game from the same year has appeared on social media thanks to sports journalist Makrand Waingankar. He tweeted a photo of this sheet, which contains the name of 14 cricketers in the squad and the team manager Bishen Singh Bedi, who were part of a one-day match played on September 21, 1983.
All players as well as the team manager were given Rs 1500 as the match fee and Rs 200/day for three days as daily allowance. In total, the money amounted to Rs 2100 for each player and the manager.
Some of the social media users tried to estimate how much Rs 2100 would amount to in modern times. One tweeter said it would be around Rs 30,000. This doesn't sound all that bad but is still peanuts compared with what today's cricket stars are making.
The likes of Virat Kohli, who are in Grade A+ of the pay-scale, earn Rs 7 Crore per year. Even domestic cricketers are making Rs 35,000 per day for a 4-day game. You can see how things have changed.
Many people, on seeing the date and the name of the players, assumed that this sheet relates to a match from the World Cup. All 14 players in the list were part of India's World Cup-winning squad.
However, Waingankar revealed that this pay list is from an India vs Pakistan match played during latter team's tour of India that year. It wasn't an official ODI but a Prime Minister's Relief Fund Match played at the iconic Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. This match has become famous for the heroics of Kirti Azad who played a lightning innings of 71, studded with 6 sixes, to win the match for India.
Interestingly, the tweet was accompanied with a remark from Waingankar where he says, "Each one of them deserve (sic) 10 Cr." Bedi, the manager of that team, responded to this comment by saying: "The Boys Yes..not the Manager...Seriously..!!"
There was a huge reaction to this picture and tweets flooded in expressing their surprise at the meagre salaries that legends such as Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath were drawing.