Shane Warne will be the Indian Premier League's most expensive signing, at a cost of US$400,000 for the first season, set to kick off in April 2008. The finance committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India met in Mumbai on Friday and approved several decisions taken by the IPL's governing council regarding payment of its players.
The fee quoted for Warne is the signing amount for him to be part of the player pool from which franchises will bid for the rights to employ players within their ranks. With Brian Lara reportedly being paid US$1 million to appear in the Indian Cricket League, and the market heating up over the two rival leagues, Warne and similar big-ticket signings could rope in well in excess of US$1 million, sources revealed.
The second-highest signing-on fee has, not surprisingly, been paid to Glenn McGrath, whose nifty line-and-length bowling see him join up for US$350,000. Stephen Fleming, whose agents flirted with the ICL but in the end held back - to the extent that Fleming was one of those present at the IPL's launch - also nets US$350,000.
Mohammad Yousuf, who had reportedly signed with the ICL before being lured away by the Pakistan board - which made no effort to stop Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq or Imran Farhat from joining the unrecognised league - has signed up with the IPL for US$330,000. A surprise entrant in the top five - and at the moment the list does not include current Australian or Indian cricketers - is Shoaib Malik, who is guaranteed US$300,000.
The ICL, which is nearing the end of its inaugural edition, will hand out approximately Rs 18 crore [approx. US$4.5 million] in total prize-money for its 16-day tournament.
The fees have been decided for only 34 of the 49 cricketers signed up by the IPL, sources said, and, of these, only 11 have received [partial] advance payments. The only player to receive payment in full is Yousuf, not surprising given that he was once a dead certainty to join the ICL. It is understood that McGrath is among those who have been given a sizeable advance.
The 29 others who have received contracts:
[All amounts in US$]
Australia Justin Langer 175,000
Sri Lanka Farveez Maharoof: 150,000, Kumar Sangakkara: 250,000, Mahela Jaywardene: 250,000, Muttiah Muralitharan: 250,000, Sanath Jayasuriya: 250,000, Nuwan Zoysa: 100,000, Dilhara Fernando: 150,000, Chaminda Vaas: 175,000, Lasith Malinga: 200,000
Pakistan Mohammad Asif 225,000, Shahid Afridi: 225,000, Shoaib Akhtar: 225,000, Younus Khan: 225,000
West Indies Shivnarine Chanderpaul 175,000
New Zealand Daniel Vettori 225,000, Jacob Oram 200,000, Scott Styris 150,000, Brendon McCullum 175,000
South Africa Loots Bosman 150,000, AB de Villiers 175,000, Albie Morkel 200,000, Graeme Smith 225,000, Herschelle Gibbs 225,000, Shaun Pollock 200,000, Ashwell Prince 150,000, Makhaya Ntini 175,000, Mark Boucher 175,000, Jacques Kallis 200,000.