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Test Cricket Incentive Scheme set to boost health of longest format & benefit Indian cricket

BCCI's new Test Cricket Incentive Scheme set to boost health of longest format & benefit Indian cricket. All you need to know about Test Cricket Incentive Scheme.

BCCI announces new Test Cricket Incentive Scheme set to boost health of longest format | Walking Wicket (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
BCCI announce new Test Cricket Incentive Scheme (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

BCCI has unveiled Test Cricket Incentive Scheme post India’s 4-1 Test series win over England. The board said the initiative was launched “to encourage players to engage in the purest format of the sport…ensuring parity with match fees in other formats and league cricket." It means that the match fees for a Test specialist or a player only playing Tests for India is set to rise by 300 % or even higher when they feature in 75 % or more matches during a particular season. 

For the records, here is how the new incentive scheme works.

Players featuring in

Incentives under New Scheme

Match fees


75-100% of Tests/Season

Rs 45 lakh/Test

Rs 15 lakh/Test

Rs 60 lakh/Test

50-75% of Tests/Season

Rs 30 lakh/Test

Rs 15 lakh/Test

Rs 45 lakh/Test

<50% of Tests/Season

Not Eligible

Rs 15 lakh/Test

Rs 15 lakh/Test

Non-Playing XI featuring in

Incentives under new scheme

75-100% Tests/Season

Rs 22.5 lakh/Test

50-75% Tests/Season

Rs 15 lakh/Test

<50% of Tests/Season

Not eligible

So, for example, if a player plays all 10 matches in a season, they are set to earn 6 crore (Rs 45 lakh incentive/Test + Rs 15 lakh match fee * 10). Before this scheme, the maximum earnings the player could collect if they played all 10 Tests during the season was Rs 1.5 crore. 

So, what was the need for such an incentive-based scheme?

Draw more players to Test cricket

With the advent of cash-rich T20 leagues across the globe, a player is set to earn a lot more participating in them rather than representing their nation. Hence, there has been a recent trend of top international stars retiring early to become freelance cricketers and play across all the big leagues in the world. But this Test Cricket Incentive Scheme will now try to match up the revenue of the T20 leagues if not exceed to motivate players to play for their country in the purest format of the game. 

Keep the longest format alive

Test cricket is the true test of a cricketer as it demands patience, skills, temperament and brings out the character of a player. Hence, this format needs to be kept alive despite the distractions of the ‘bang-bang’ version of the game. Hence, the move by BCCI will help keep the format alive as more money means more participation from players in this format to show their craft, skills and talent in the purest format of the game. 

This move would also propel other top cricketing boards such as England and Australia to do something similar to preserve the longest format of the game. The World Test Championship has definitely added more meaning to bilateral test series now, and this new move may make the ICC think of new ways to attract more attention to this format. 

Players would not skip Tests or First-Class cricket 

Recent developments have shown that top India cricketers have given Test cricket and even First-Class cricket a miss for some reason or the other. Shreyas Iyer failed to turn up for a Ranji match for his state team despite being declared fit. Ishan Kishan, who took a mental health break, also did the same while simultaneously he was spotted practising for IPL 2024. BCCI took stern steps and omitted them from central contracts. 

But now, thanks to this incentive scheme, players are set to lose a big amount if they miss Tests matches for India. It would propel them to remain fit, and in form, to be ready for Test selection, and even take part in First-Class cricket to be in the eye of the selectors. Now, risking missing matches would not only cost selections and national contracts but also a lot of money.

A greater pool of players

IPL has definitely produced stars out of few youngsters. Players such as Rinku Singh have received national selection, thanks to IPL exploits. But if players look forward to only getting an IPL contract and laugh all their way to the bank, then Indian cricket may nosedive, and the national cricket team may suffer in bargain. 

However, with Test cricket being incentivised, there is a greater motivation to turn up for India, and play the longest format of the game where it will test the true merit of a player. This will help create great reserves across all departments that will benefit Indian cricket in general. Hence, India might churn up more Bumrahs and Ashwins and Kohlis, and create a strong reserve bench strength that can produce match-winning performances for India. 

Eventually, the aim of this scheme is to help unearth talent who could play the toughest format, and do well for the country. In the process, India may achieve great success in Test cricket across the globe.

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