‘Kuber is coming and is going distribute wealth among all the people’. You would not believe it, for the present economic condition would make even Kuber broke. But India has not one but several Kubers and among them is the BCCI – the richest cricketing organisation on planet earth. If you were on the BCCI payrolls, you might certainly believe the first line.
Inside sources report that the BCCI top bosses have thought about a re-juggle of the present grading system. Speculation is rife as to who would be in the Grade-A list. Also the reports and comments suggest that the BCCI may also increase the pay package of each grade.
Due to the rising prices of the goods and the general economic condition, the pay package of the entire Grade-A players are supposed to be increased to 1.5Cr. The Grade-B players would see a salary kitty worth Rs. 70 lakh. It is an increase by an amount of Rs.20 lakhs. The Grade C players would see a package of Rs. 40 lakhs, up by Rs.15 lakhs. The pay package is supposed to bring cheer and happiness to the families of the cricketers ahead of this festive season. Despite the poor show of the economy, the BCCI has still managed to keep up its finances and hence this bounty.
The A Grade band is up for some change however. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh are speculated to be dropped to Grade –B .Their replacements are supposed to be double centurion Shikhar Dhawan, India –A captain Cheteshwar Pujara and the evergreen Sir Ravindra Jadeja.
The Grade– B might consist of Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Pragyan Ojha is a surprise in this list, for his last Test was versus Australia in March 2013.
The Grade – C would include Vinay Kumar, Murali Vijay, Piyush Chawla, Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, S Badrinath and L. Balaji.
These are reports however not confirmed but are inferred from the statements of the BCCI chiefs and insider reports.
The BCCI way of making payments has always come under criticism and scrutiny. There have been several instances where the BCCI has decided upon retaining a player in the same Grade despite his poor performance. For instance during the last rejig in October-12, Virender Sehwag had just scored about 612 runs in the last 11 Test Matches. Similarly his then opening companion and personal friend Gambhir hadn’t scored a century in 22 Tests and averaged 28.36. But because of their ‘A’ status they pocketed a cool 1Crore. As per the critics, the large number of contracts makes the fringe cricketers already spoiled by the riches that the Indian Premier League has to offer, slip into a comfort zone, rather than be determined to make the cut. It would have also been nice if the Board had rewarded selected cricketers from the India U-19 World Cup winning side and the top run-scorer in Ranji Trophy ( Robin Bist), with at least a Grade C contract, instead of keeping cricketers who have done nothing of note in domestic as well as international cricket in that list.