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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, that is also looked after," Gavaskar said. File photo

Sunil Gavaskar urges BCCI to triple Ranji Trophy match fees

Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday urged the BCCI to bring in the recently-launched incentive system for Tests into domestic cricket, saying it would encourage more players to participate and have lesser pull outs.

The BCCI announced its incentive policy right after the conclusion of the five-Test series against England while also naming its list of players who have been given contracts for the period of October 2023 to September 2024.

As per the announcement, those who play 75 per cent of India’s Tests both home and away could earn Rs 60 lakh per match.

"I think what Rahul Dravid said, when it was announced in Dharamsala, that he would like to call it a reward," Gavaskar told the media here on the sidelines an event to mark the completion of 25 years of The Champs Foundation.

"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, that 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 pull outs from the Ranji Trophy, because if the fees of playing a Ranji Trophy match is a good fee there will be less people pulling out for various reasons.

"They will all be wanting to play with the 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." The legendary batter welcomed the recent emphasis shown by the Indian cricket board to have more frontline players participating in domestic cricket.

"It is something that everybody is aware of. It is something that should be looked up by every cricketer — domestic cricket is actually how they have come up. If they hadn't started at the domestic cricket level, be it the domestic T20, the domestic one-day tournament or the Ranji Trophy, they wouldn’t be where they are," Gavaskar said.

"Very few cricketers (are there) who’ve actually come up from not having played domestic cricket, they always have played some domestic cricket, it could be junior cricket or U-19 cricket or something like that. That has to be something that every cricketer must never forget." Gavaskar also urged the BCCI to have a look at the scheduling of the Ranji Trophy, which ran from a little over two months from January 5 to March 14 this year.

More importantly, the scheduling which had three-day breaks between most games was tough to deal with for the players.

It is something which India all-rounder Shardul Thakur and Tamil Nadu skipper R Sai Kishore also talked about, warning that players across the countries will start getting injured if the schedule is not changed.

"That’s (a relook at the schedule) something that should be considered because you have to have a situation… In the three-day gap what happens is that there’s probably a day in between in travel," Gavaskar said.

"During travel, there’s no time to go to the physio and maybe take his help to get fit from a niggle. So, probably there should be a little bit of gap so that the player get adequate time," he added.

Gavaskar said Ranji Trophy should be played from October to mid December followed by the white-ball competitions.

"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." Gavaskar also said Test cricket will continue to survive.

"Test cricket will definitely be around. You might not have a five-Test match series between every country, only two or three might play five-Tests. Any tour now will be a mix of Tests, T20Is and ODIs," he said. PTI

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)
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