Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official who has had a few discussions with Kohli on the issue said that Kohli’s concern about players playing just one format and those playing Ranji Trophy made sense as the youngsters who play the IPL have their position taken care of, thanks to the immense popularity of the cash-rich T20 league.
“Just prior to the Champions Trophy, then head coach Anil Kumble had proposed a pay hike plan for centrally contracted player that also spoke about the captain getting paid extra for his role as leader. That is when Anirudh spoke to Kohli about the matter as it was hard to believe that a team-man like Kohli would be on the same page as Kumble on the captain getting paid extra for discharging the captain's responsibility. In fact, Kohli went on to say that every player's interest should be taken care of, but especially those who play just one format should be priority.
“Anirudh and Kohli’s thought process definitely match and he has come out with this proposal which not only looks at the interest of players like Cheteshwar Pujara — only plays the Test format — but also of Ranji Trophy players. It is an issue that was also brought up by Harbhajan Singh as he saw the poor pay structure in domestic cricket,” the official said.
In fact, the idea is to create a Test player fund wherein money will come through IPL auctions. Explaining the process, the official said: “We will have a cap on the fee for uncapped Indian players and foreign players. The franchise is free to bid for the player to any extent, but the player will only get what is allowed as per the cap and the rest of the money will go to the fund.”
Asked if this was also a move to ensure that young cricketers don’t start giving T20 cricket priority, the official said: “Well priorities are for the cricketers to decide. Our job is to pass the right signal and there is no two-way about it that we are as much focused on being the No.1 team in Test cricket as we are keen to dominate the 50-over and T20 format. There should be no wrong signal to any player that playing franchise cricket is more lucrative than playing the longer format.”
But all this can happen only after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators approve of the proposal. “Things have changed and it is no longer the BCCI officials who get to take the final call. It has to be sent to the COA for approval and only then can Kohli and BCCI’s vision see the light of the day,” the official signed off.
anil kumbleanirudh chaudharybcciCheteshwar PujaraIndian Premier Leagueiplishant sharmamurali vijayTeam Indiavirat kohliWriddhiman Saha
First Published: October 9, 2017, 10:54 AM IST