Former India batsman VVS Laxman has reiterated the fact that the domestic players should be paid well in order to give them security over their career.
The last few months have witnessed a debate over the pay structure of Team India players as well as domestic players. Recently, former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri had expressed his displeasure over the newly-revised retainer fees for the Indian players. The BCCI doubled the fee but Shastri called it ‘peanuts’ in comparison to what the Australian and English players earn. India spin spearhead R Ashwin also rued that a majority of state associations don’t give contracts to the domestic players. And Laxman completely agrees with the duo.
“I had given the proposal to HCA six-seven years back,” said Laxman.“Every time a new regime comes (in state association), I give a presentation on how to improve the quality of cricket and also how to look after the players. In England, counties have contracts and the domestic players benefit a lot due to that. I also had a contract with Lancashire.
Speaking on the importance of contracts, he said: “The contracts are very very important nowadays because jobs are not easily available for domestic cricketers as it used to be 10 years back. The contract system is an incentive for the parents as well. It’s like `if my son is part of the Ranji team, he gets some fixed sum regardless of his final place in the team’. Domestic players should also get more money.”
The BCCI, last month, doubled the annual retainer fee for all contracted players to 2 crores, 1 crore and 50 lakh respectively for the three graded categories A, B and C. However, the players are still reportedly unhappy and Laxman also supported their stance by citing the example of Australian and English cricketers.
“When you play international cricket, you have to be rewarded well. We can take a leaf out of Australia and England in this regard. They get good contracts.
“Of course, the pay structure in India is much better than before. For the Indians, it is a work in progress. And I am sure the Board is looking into it. After all, players are a vital component of the game,” he said.
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