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‘Triple’ Ranji fees, end tournament in December to adjust IPL training: Gavaskar’s advice to avoid Ishan-like situation

Sunil Gavaskar spoke in detail about the Ranji Trophy ruling by the BCCI, and had some advice to the board on their plans for the tournament

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has called upon the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to increase the pay for domestic cricketers, particularly those in the first-class circuit. While appreciating the BCCI’s recent decision to provide incentives for Test players, Gavaskar emphasised the importance of adequately supporting the Ranji Trophy, which serves as a crucial platform for nurturing future Test talents.

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar(HT Archives)

The BCCI had issued the diktats for the Indian players to take part in the Ranji Trophy and prioritise the red-ball cricket tournament. Gavaskar suggested that there will be increased participation in the annual first-class competition if the salaries can be “doubled or tripled.”

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“That is a wonderful thing by the BCCI to reward those who would be playing, but I would also request the BCCI to ensure that the feeder to the Test team, which is the Ranji Trophy, is also looked after.

“If the Ranji Trophy fees can be doubled or tripled, certainly there’ll be a lot more people playing the Ranji Trophy, and a lot less pullouts from the Ranji Trophy, because if the fees of playing a Ranji Trophy match are a good fee, there will be fewer people pulling out for various reasons,” Gavaskar said at an event, as quoted by Cricbuzz.

Gavaskar also echoed India head coach Rahul Dravid’s sentiments regarding BCCI’s incentive-based remuneration, labelling it as recognition for participation in red-ball cricket. He further emphasized that providing adequate compensation to Ranji players could help minimize the frequency of withdrawals witnessed recently, citing examples such as Ishan Kishan.

“I think what Rahul Dravid said, when it was announced in Dharamsala, that he would like to call it a reward. They will all be wanting to play with a slab system – every 10 first-class matches you get that much more so I would request the BCCI to look at that aspect as well,” Gavaskar said.

Start Ranji Trophy in October

Gavaskar also advised the BCCI to start the Ranji Trophy in October so that the players have adequate time to prepare for the IPL. Recently, Ishan Kishan had made himself unavailable for Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy matches but joined his MI captain, Hardik Pandya, in training in Baroda. He was eventually excluded from BCCI’s central contracts.

“My personal opinion is to have the Ranji Trophy from October to mid-December and then bring in the white-ball tournaments. That way, everybody will be available to play except for the ones featuring for India. There will be no real excuse to pull out. With the one-dayers beginning from January, people who are in the IPL can have enough practice from then,” said Gavaskar.


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