The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – the richest cricket board in the world – has failed to pay its domestic cricketers for two full seasons, the Indian Express has reported.
The BCCI has single-handedly transformed the sport into a multi-billion dollar industry and spawned a multitude of T20 tournaments in every corner of the world. However, it has failed to discharge its basic function of paying its players on time, mainly due to an ongoing turf war with the court-appointed Committee of Administrators overseeing the functioning of the board.
According to the report, most players in domestic cricket have received payments from their state units but still await the main portion of their income – share of 10.6 per cent of the BCCI’s total revenue.
The relation between members of the board and the COA has broken down dramatically and it’s the players, especially those without IPL or senior contracts, who are suffering. The report says associations are waiting for the disbursement of funds after the board holds its general body meeting.
On an average, a cricketer who plays in first-class and one-day tournaments at the domestic level earns around rupees 1.2 to 1.5 million (Dh85,000) per annum.
Captain Rohit Sharma on Monday said that India were not the favourites to win the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series. The tournament which starts on Tuesday, also features hosts Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The stand-in captain said that the Indians, without many star names who have been rested, don’t have the upper hand as the shortest format of the game is unpredictable.
“We won’t label ourselves as favourites. The T20 format is unpredictable and you have got to be on the money at all times. Both our oppositions are strong and we look forward to a good contest,” Rohit said ahead of the series opener against Sri Lanka.
A number of senior players are missing from India’s 15-member squad. Captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav have all been given a rest following a long tour of South Africa.
While Rohit will lead the side, Shikhar Dhawan has been named his deputy. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has featured in two T20s, and rookie quick Mohammed Siraj, have been given an opportunity. Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar will fight it out for the spinning all-rounder’s spot.
The tournament is being held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence.
Matches will be played under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The tournament follows a round-robin format with all the three teams playing each other twice with the top two moving to the final on March 18.
INDIA LIKELY TEAM:
Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Dinesh Karthik (wk), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Deepak Hooda, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj
Khan led Pakistan to their only ICC World Cup title in 1992 and Shastri believes Kohli possesses the same desire to lead by example.
“It’s still early days for Virat. He is still very very young. But he is already there among the very best. He wants to lead by example. He reminds me a lot of Imran. He is still very young but he has got lot of qualities that Imran had when it came to leading a side. Which is great,” the India coach told Kolkata publication Anandabazar Patrika.
“Just the ability to always want to dominate, want to compete, irrespective of whatever conditions you get, believe that you can do it. When you have that kind of quality it spreads among the other players as well. And that was very similar to the way Imran led,” Shastri added.
Kohli had a remarkable tour of South Africa with the bat, scoring a ton in the Tests and three in the ODIs to finish with a staggering 871 runs in total. Shastri described Kohli’s heroics on the tour as an unbelievable achievement.
Heaping praise on Kohli, Shastri said: “I think he was fantastic on the last trip. It was a tough trip. When you are the leading batsman in the side plus the captain, plus the conditions you get, plus the side that you are playing which is formidable, you need to be on top of your game.”
“Mentally and physically. And he did just that. For someone to score 870-plus score on a single tour in two months, is an unbelievable achievement. Really unbelievable achievement.”
While there has been no denying the batting genius of the India superstar, his over-the-top aggression on the field has invited its fair share of criticism. Shastri, though, has a simple message for the critics.
“My only advice to them is to mind their own business. I will keep it very simple. Whoever is saying that, mind your own business. Let us get on with our job. I think he is absolutely fine. If there was a problem, the umpires are there,” he said.
“The match-referee is there to sort it out. What are they there for? He is hardly been called by the match-referee for going over the top in his career. So where is the problem?” Shastri added.
Highlighting the differences in South Africa’s pitches for the series against India and the ongoing one against Australia, Shastri said his men had been outstanding in the face of a tough test.
“It is one of the toughest tours and if you look at the pitches that were on offer to us, it is chalk and cheese when you look at the track that has been given against Australia. When you look at the track now in Durban and looked at the tracks we played on, they look like chalk and cheese,” he explained.
Australia eventually beat South Africa by 118 runs in the first Test at Durban to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.