With the motive to improve his batting performances in England, India skipper Virat Kohli has opted to play county cricket for Surrey in June. Ever since the news broke out on Thursday (May 3), cricket fans and experts are speculating about the amount of money Kohli would be charging from the county side.
Busting all sorts of myth, a senior BCCI official on Friday (May 4) said that Virat will be fetching a very nominal fee from Surrey for his one-month stint.
"Contrary to popular belief that Virat will cost a bomb for Surrey, it was completely the other way round. Let's get it clear. Surrey is paying airfare, accommodation and a very nominal match fee during the month," a senior BCCI office-bearer privy to the deal quoted as saying by PTI.
"Since the Board and Virat himself was very keen, the monetary part was least of concern for us. We are not at liberty to quote the amount but it will be a very nominal amount that he will be paid and that is at par with any standard county player. We can vouch it's a win-win deal for Surrey as well as for the BCCI," he added.
While the news of Kohli’s participation in county cricket has come out in March, the BCCI was in constant talk with Surrey concerning the image rights of Indian captain. That was the reason for the delay in putting pen to paper.
"Obviously, Surrey wants to cash in on his image. But then Virat's focus will be six games (Three Royal London Cup 50 over games and Three County four day games). There will be curiosity and marketing opportunities but we don't want our captain to be unduly disturbed by peripheral activities. He is going there to prepare for England series and if he scores runs, it helps Surrey," the board official stated.
It is worth mentioning here that the IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore had paid a whopping sum of INR 18 crores to retain Kohli earlier this year.
Virat will be available to play all the matches for Surrey throughout the month of June while Team India will commence their all-important England tour on July 3.
Besides Kohli, India’s leading batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, speedster Ishant Sharma are also featuring in county cricket to ready themselves for the England tour. While Pujara is playing for Yorkshire, Ishant is representing Sussex.