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Sunil Gavaskar calls for Ranji Trophy incentive scheme to encourage red-ball retention

Sunil Gavaskar has asked the BCCI to introduce an incentive scheme in the Ranji Trophy to encourage domestic players.
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Sunil Gavaskar has asked the BCCI to introduce an incentive scheme in the Ranji Trophy to encourage domestic players.

The BCCI announced a Test cricket incentive scheme earlier this month with international cricketers playing 75 percent of games in a season getting INR 45 lakh per match. Those who played between 50 to 75 percent of Test matches would get INR 30 lakh. Both groups would get the incentive on top of their match fees of INR 15 lakh.

Sunil Gavaskar lauded the BCCI for the steps taken in making red-ball cricket a priority. At the same time, he requested the board to look after the Ranji Trophy, which acts as a feeder to the Test team.

“That is a wonderful thing by the BCCI to reward those who would be playing [Test cricket], 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 fee can be doubled or tripled, certainly there will be a lot more people playing the Ranji Trophy, [and a] lot less pullouts. They will all be wanting to play with the slab system – [if] every ten first-class matches you get that much more – so I would request the BCCI to look at that aspect as well.”

Currently, a domestic player earns INR 2 lakh per Ranji Trophy game. If his team makes the final, he will play a maximum of ten games, earning INR 20 lakh in total for the season. The match fees for the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy are INR 50,000 and INR 17,500 respectively.

Gavaskar also praised the BCCI for asking the international players to prioritise domestic cricket. In a letter, BCCI secretary Jay Shah asked all centrally-contracted Indian players to “prove” themselves in domestic cricket; he added that there would be “severe implications” in case of non-participation.

Following the letter, the BCCI left out Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from their retainership list with reports suggesting the board was not pleased with the two skipping Ranji Trophy games.

“It is something that should be looked up [to] by every cricketer: domestic cricket is actually how they have come up,” said Gavaskar. “If they had not started at the domestic level, be it the domestic T20, the domestic one-day tournament or the Ranji Trophy, they wouldn’t be where they are.

“Very few cricketers have actually come up from not having played domestic cricket. They always have played some domestic cricket – it could be junior cricket or Under-19 cricket or something like that. That is something the players should never forget.”

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