When we used to play cricket in our childhood, it had to be restrictive and selective. No parents would have ever allowed their kids to play cricket neglecting studies. The parents would rather love to see their children as an IAS, Doctors or an Engineer. Cricket used to occupy a back seat in terms of preferences as a career or money making option.
Indian cricketers were emerging in the National horizon due to sheer talent or may be influence of being so and so of former cricketers/officials of National repute. The talented guys had to toil hard to meet their both ends without any support, parents’ wrath and the risk of neglecting studies.
To cite an example. Eknath Solkar had a poor background being son of the groundsman at the PJ Hindu Gymkhana Club in Mumbai and lived in one room with his parents along with five brothers and sisters. He had to toil hard before he could become a Test Cricketer in India. He played 27 Test matches for India between 1969 to 1977 and expired at the age of 57. During those days, cricket players were hardly earning anything discouraging youngsters to opt cricket as a career.
Today, the ever growing popularity of cricket in India has changed the scenario completely. Cricket is being pursued as a career. We all know that a cricket player’s career is limited. But within that span, he can earn money which an I.A.S Officer, a doctor or an Engineer can not think of during his lifetime.  The follow up like the star tag, the glamour always adds to subsequent guaranteed engagements which may be in advertisements endorsements, politics and even in Bollywood.  Besides, the money generated by a cricketer during his limited career will be more than enough to venture in to business propositions aftermath the career.
It will not be out of context to comment that BCCI, the governing body of Indian cricket, is the richest cricket board in the World for the love the people of India have bestowed on this game. BCCI’s income has increased to Rs.1000.41 crores in 2007-08 as against Rs.651.81 crores the in previous year. The money spinners for BCCI are:
1) US $ 612 Millions for the Global Media Rights for International cricket to be held in India between March,2010 to March,2014 with Nimbus;

2) US $ 43 Millions for official kits sponsorship rights for five years from 2010 to 2013 with Nike;

3) US $ 70 Millions for the official Indian team sponsorship with Air Sahara for a period of four years;

4) US $ 219.15 Millions for the media rights for five years for 25 neutral venue ODI matches with ZEE Telefilms;

5) Business Standard report says that BCCI will garner another whopping US $ 450 Millions from the sale of other rights;

6) And of course, the US $ 1026 Millions deal signed with Sony Television Network and the Singapore based World Sports Group for a ten years right for IPL. As per the deal, the consortium will the BCCI US $ 918 Millions for the telecast right and US $ 108 for the promotion of the tournament.
Such availability of funds with BCCI has manifested in to various ways to promote cricket as well as other sports in India. BCCI is now allocating 10.4% of its total revenue for match fees in domestic cricket. For a four-day Ranji league game, such a player stands to make Rs 80,000 and for every five-day Ranji knockout game he will be paid Rs 1,00,000. The remuneration for players representing Team India is Rs 2.50 lakhs for a Test and Rs 1.85 lakhs an ODI on foreign tours and Rs 2 lakhs a Test and Rs 1.60 lakhs an ODI for a home series. BCCI has also ventured in to support of other sports, welfare of umpires and adequate financial package for the selectors as I am stating below:

Senior selectors (who have played a minimum 25 first class matches and retired at least 10 years ago) would be paid Rs.25 lakhs per annum.
Junior selectors (who have played a minimum of 25 first class matches and retired at least five years ago) would be paid Rs.15 lakhs per annum. Cash reward of Rs.25 lakhs for Abhinav Bindra (Gold medalist) and Rs.10 lakhs each to the two bronze medalists Sushil Kumar(wrestling) and Vijender Kumar in boxing in the Beijing Olympics. A monthly pension of Rs.15000 for retired women international cricketers for those who have played at least 10 test matches and Rs.10000 for those who played between 5 to 9 test matches. Widows of test umpires are also included in this scheme. Other Agenda includes donation of Rs.50 crores for National Sports Development Fund for promotion of other sports in the country, sending a woman cricket coach to China for development of women cricket in that country along with free equipments worth $50000.

The 20th February, 2008 will remain as a red letter day in Indian cricket history. The day when Indian Premier League (IPL) entered the Indian cricket having the potential to completely transform the game. Cricket has been made now a viable and lucrative career option. The IPL is tailored scientifically and a win win formula for all involved.
The first three editions of IPL had eight franchisees. The franchisees were designed keeping a local tag like Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, etc. And one icon player from the localised franchisees was kept in that to retain a local appeal. The response to this tournament was evident from the fact that as against a base price of  US $ 400Millions, the auction fetched a mammoth US $ 723.59 Millions. To promote youngsters and to keep local flavour in each franchisee, it was made mandatory to keep four under 21 years players along with four from the catchments areas. Thus, each franchisee is having a potential to keep eight local players. The restriction of fielding maximum four overseas players in a match provided the opportunities to young local players to hone their talents playing with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Graeme Smith and Sachin Tendulkar. The IPL unfolded unimaginable money pouring for cricketers. The small town guy from Ranchi, M.S.Dhoni fetched the maximum of 6 crores.  Monoj Tewary who is from a humble background from Kolkata could have never thought of an offer of US $ 675000. The 19 years old Ishant Sharma was offered Rs.1 lakh per delivery provided that he bowls his entire quota of four overs in each of the maximum possible matches.
No surprise, the cricket fever with the youngsters in the country increasing the number of cricket coaching institutes. Crowded summer coaching camps are seen every nook and corner of the country. And India is reigning No-1 in ODI ranking in the World. India has become the new home of World cricket.