The IPL auction has just got over and as with every auction over the years someone unknown has become a dollar millionaire. That’s of course his good fortune and fate, but it also brings up the question once more of how the hard working first-class cricketer, who doesn’t play in the IPL, is neglected for his contribution to Indian cricket while an unknown rakes in the big bucks for a maximum of 16 days of cricket. Indian cricket has not been able to solve this disparity and unless serious thought is given to it the first-class game may as well not exist in Indian cricket.
No mystery here
Almost every single one of these so called mystery bowlers have been discarded after one season because while it’s one thing to be a mystery in local leagues comprising of club level players, it’s quite another when bowling to international players who suss you out in a matter of deliveries. The mystery at the end of the IPL is why franchises shell out so much money for no visible returns.
For long, I have been suggesting that the BCCI-IPL governing council put a limit on what an uncapped player — Indian or overseas — can be bought for by the franchises. Since the auction is now in Indian currency to guard against the fluctuations of the foreign currencies, a limit can be agreed upon for an uncapped player. That limit can be twice or even thrice as much a first-class player earns if he plays all the domestic tournaments. So if a first-class player, who plays nearly 50 days of the various BCCI tournaments like the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, the Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the Vijay Hazare tournaments excluding the IPL of course, gets, say, Rs. 35 lakh — and I could be totally wrong in this assessment — then the uncapped player’s limit for the IPL auction should be Rs. 1 crore.
Bring back the sealed envelope
But if more than one franchise is interested in the uncapped player then like the third year of the IPL with Ravindra Jadeja the franchises should be asked to submit their maximum bid in a sealed envelope to the BCCI and the Governing Council then announces the winner. Like it happened with Jadeja the BCCI gets to keep the overflow amount over Rs 1 crore and that amount can be kept aside to make the payments for the first-class player.
The franchise gets its player, the BCCI gets the extra money and the first-class players don’t feel that they are the poor cousins of Indian cricket. It’s a win-win for everybody as it also helps the franchises to save money which they otherwise would have splurged on the uncapped player only to regret at the end of the IPL. There has to be a sense of balance in Indian cricket and I’m sure there are more intelligent brains who can come up with a solution that is equitable to all the players in India.
Yuvraj deserves it
The Mumbai Indians picking Yuvraj Singh was a heart-warming gesture. Yuvraj has brought glory to Indian cricket over the years and his performances in the first ICC T20 Championship, where he hit Stuart Broad for 6 sixes and then the man of the tournament deeds in the 2011 ICC World Cup will be written in golden letters in Indian cricket history. That has been recognised by the Mumbai Indians, who know that even if he may not replicate those deeds Yuvi will still be a terrific mentor to the youngsters in the team. His ever smiling, always positive personality will only bring good vibes in the change room and that can be his main contribution even if he doesn't get to play too many matches. Well done Mumbai Indians!
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