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‘Kuch logon ko taqleef hogi lekin…’: Kapil backs BCCI strictness

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NEW DELHI: Legendary former India captain

Kapil Dev

on Friday expressed his support for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (

BCCI

) decision to terminate

central contracts

due to a lack of commitment to

domestic cricket

.
He emphasised the significance of safeguarding prestigious first-class events like the

Ranji Trophy

and acknowledged that while a few players might face consequences, he deemed it a necessary measure.

The exclusion of

Ishan Kishan

and

Shreyas Iyer

from the central contracts, following their disregard for the BCCI’s directive to participate in the Ranji Trophy, stirred diverse reactions. Notably, some former players, including

Kirti Azad

and

Irfan Pathan

, sided with the sidelined duo.

Although Kapil refrained from specifying individuals, he underlined that the BCCI’s decision to underscore the importance of domestic cricket was long overdue. In endorsing this move, Kapil highlighted the broader objective of preserving the integrity and significance of premier domestic competitions like the Ranji Trophy.
“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.
Despite being off national duty and citing personal reasons for leaving the South Africa tour in December, 25-year-old Kishan did not participate in Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy campaign. Instead, he directed his focus towards preparations for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) with his franchise, Mumbai Indians.
In the case of Iyer, following his exclusion from the Indian team after the second Test against England, he opted out of Mumbai’s Ranji quarter-final against Baroda. However, he has been selected for Mumbai’s Ranji semi-final against Tamil Nadu scheduled to commence on March 2. This decision comes amid the BCCI’s recent move to terminate central contracts for players displaying insufficient commitment to domestic cricket.
“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 emphasised the responsibility of established cricket stars to actively participate in domestic cricket, underscoring that their success in the international arena owes much to their roots in 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.
(With PTI inputs)

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