Cricket salaries to pass football
Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi has declared his cricketers will be the highest-paid of any sport when the salary cap is scrapped.
And Modi says the Board of Control for Cricket in India has thrown off its "subservient" cloak and has "glory" on its mind when it comes to ruling the cricketing world.
As cricket finds itself in a spin over the Twenty20 revolution, Modi says the IPL will eventually rival -- and surpass - soccer's English Premier League for providing players with unprecedented riches.
He cited the sale of Aston Villa recently for $132 million to highlight cricket's new riches.
"That (Aston Villa) is a historic club with a ground and established supporters," Modi said.
"We just sold the Mumbai franchise for almost the same amount of money, and the team doesn't even exist yet.
"Then you can compare the players: Andrew Symonds is making $213,000 a week for the duration of the tournament. Mahendra Singh Dhoni even more than that.
"Tell me who in the Premier League earns as much? Maybe Frank Lampard (Chelsea, $213,300), maybe Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, $298,000). But not many."
Modi then revealed his plan to abolish the IPL's salary cap once the competition, which starts on April 18, had found its feet and was profitable.
"We set a salary cap of $5 million per team for the first season," Modi said.
"We didn't want a couple of extremely rich individuals to create a situation where it is only a few teams, like Manchester United or Chelsea, who can win the title.
"But if we hadn't done that, our players would already be the highest paid across any sport in the world.
"It will happen. If not today, then tomorrow. Because once the franchises have established themselves, it will be a free-for-all."
Dhoni attracted the biggest bid at last month's player auction, earning $1.65 million a season, while Symonds was second-highest ($1.47 m) with the Hyderabad franchise.
Modi played a key role in having players who joined the rebel Twenty20 competition, the Indian Cricket League, stripped of their international contracts.
He again stepped up his attack on the ICL, which starts its second season from March 9.
"The ICL is run by businessmen for profit, whereas the BCCI and the IPL are non-profit organisations: anything we do goes back into development of the game and enhancing of infrastructure," he said.