Sourav Ganguly's first day at office as BCCI chief: Discusses MS Dhoni's future, fee hike of first-class cricketers
Mumbai, Oct 25: On the first day of his office as the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly on Thursday (October 24) met with the chairman of selectors as well as the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma.
In his first meeting with the national selectors, Ganguly was apprised by Prasad about the future of veteran India cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. As per reports, the selection committee has informed the president that they are 'moving on' from the 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman.
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While addressing media persons after announcing India's T20I and Test squad for the upcoming Bangladesh series at home, Prasad said, "I made it very clear, post World Cup that we are moving on. We are giving opportunities to youngsters and see that they establish themselves in the side. With Rishabh Pant doing so well and Sanju Samson coming into the side, I am sure, you must be understanding our thought process." Prasad added further, "We definitely had a chat with Dhoni and he also endorses our view of backing youngsters."
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Former captain Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India. He hasn't made an international appearance ever since playing the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand.
As per reports, the veteran cricketer could be back in action in the international cricket in January during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. However, Prasad's comments on Dhoni hints that his return to the national side is bleak.
The newly-elected BCCI president also talked about the Indian cricket team's plan with Kohli and Sharma. As per a Bangalore Mirror report, Ganguly seems to have asked the selectors to give sufficient chances to the youngsters so that they prove their potential.
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Payment of domestic cricketers has been an age-old issue in Indian cricket and Ganguly has been a staunch supporter of higher pay to the domestic players.
Currently, a first-class cricketer receives Rs 1.4 lakh per match at Rs 35,000 per day (excluding daily allowance which is different for different states). At the end of the season, the BCCI also distributes 13 per cent of the annual gross revenue earned from TV rights.
A good first-class cricketer, who plays a decent amount of four-day, List A and T20 matches, earns around Rs 25 lakh per season. Compared to international cricket, it's quite low as the national players earn Rs 15 lakh per Test match (in playing XI and a half if a member of the squad), Rs 8 lakh per ODI and Rs 4 lakh per T20 International.
Apart from this, more than 20 players are in various central contract categories ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 7 crore. This is one issue which is close to Ganguly's heart.
He will try to at least take it up to Rs 50,000 per match and gradually get it increased to Rs 2.5 lakh per the first-class match, besides increasing the share of domestic players in the gross revenue earned from TV rights.