Few players will suffer but let it be: Kapil backs BCCI strictness on domestic cricket

Kapil refrained from taking names but said the BCCI’s decision to assert the importance of domestic cricket was long overdue.

March 01, 2024 09:41 pm | Updated 09:41 pm IST - New Delhi

File photo of Kapil Dev.

File photo of Kapil Dev. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

“A few players will suffer, but let it be,” said legendary former India captain Kapil Dev on Friday as he backed the BCCI’s decision to terminate central contracts for lack of commitment to domestic cricket, calling it a much-needed step to protect marquee first-class events like the Ranji Trophy.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were on Wednesday excluded from the BCCI’s central contracts after ignoring the board’s diktat to play in the Ranji Trophy. The decision evoked mixed reactions with some former players like Kirti Azad and Irfan Pathan backing the out-of-favour duo.

Kapil refrained from taking names but said the BCCI’s decision to assert the importance of domestic cricket was long overdue.

“Yes, few players will suffer, kuch logon ko taqleef hogi, hone do lekin desh se badhkar koi nahi hai (some people will feel hurt but let it be because nobody is bigger than the country). Well done,” he said.

“I congratulate the BCCI for taking the much needed step to protect the status of domestic cricket. I was sad to see domestic cricket being given the skip by players once they had established themselves in international cricket,” the captain of the 1983 World Cup-winning side observed in his statement.

The BCCI, while announcing the central contracts, urged the players to give due importance to domestic competitions.

The 25-year-old Kishan did not turn up for Jharkhand throughout the team’s campaign in Ranji Trophy despite not being on national duty after leaving the tour of South Africa in December citing personal reasons. He instead focussed on preparing for the IPL next month for his franchise Mumbai Indians.

Iyer, on the other hand, did not make himself available for Mumbai’s Ranji quarterfinal against Baroda after being excluded from the Indian team after the second Test against England. He, however, has been picked for Mumbai’s Ranji semifinal against Tamil Nadu starting March 2.

“It was high time the message was given and this strong step by the BCCI will go a long way in restoring the prestige of domestic cricket,” he added.

Kapil asserted that it was the duty of established stars to play domestic cricket as they owe their success to their respective states.

“I have always believed in the process of international players making themselves available to play for their respective states. It helps them extend their support to domestic players. Also it is a nice way to pay back for the services rendered by the state association in grooming a player,” he said.

Kapil also expressed his gratitude to the BCCI for enhancing the pension of former cricketers, saying it has come as a major relief to families of several yesteryear players.

In 2022, the board had announced a hike in the monthly pensions of former cricketers -- both men and women.

Former first-class men’s cricketers, who earlier got Rs 15,000 per month are now getting Rs 30,000, while former Test players, who got Rs 37,500, are now getting Rs 60,000.

Women international players, who received Rs 30,000 prior to the revision are now receiving Rs 52,500, while first-class cricketers who retired before 2003 and were getting Rs 22,500 are now getting Rs 45,000.

“I am also happy that the BCCI has increased the pension amount of the players. This was a much needed boost to those whose family depends on the pension received,” added Kapil.

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