We want to secure cricketers' future, says BCCI Apex Council representative Gaekwad

Indian Cricketers Association member Anshuman Gaekwad said that the ICA will work towards building a secured livelihood for domestic players.

Former India cricketer Anshuman Gaekwad was elected as ICA's male representative in the BCCI Apex Council.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

The first meeting of Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) is set to take place at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai on Wednesday.  Anshuman Gaekwad who is elected as the male representative in the BCCI Apex Council, on Tuesday spoke to Sportstar  on how the ICA will be "the bridge between the BCCI Administrators, Cricketers and Cricket".

Q. The ICA has become a reality after the Supreme Court accepted the Justice Lodha Reforms in cricket? One third of the BCCI Apex Council will be cricketers: Sourav Ganguly, Shantha Rangaswamy and you.

A. It’s a good thing. Absolutely. There will be a lot more thinking from the cricketers' side. It was all about administration so far, now there will be balance between the two, administration and cricket. The BCCI needs to address issues; and with Sourav being there and Shantha and myself, we will understand things better, more practically.

Sourav has already talked about looking at the match fee of domestic players? The senior tournament fee per day is around Rs. 35,000.

It’s not that we want to make them millionaires. We would like to secure their future. Probably they get enough when they are playing. Everybody cannot play for India. Junior and first-class cricket is equally important, players have sacrificed a lot.

They have been part of the system, they, players of my time and before, have contributed to the development of the game in India. They have to be looked after in some way or the other.

To what extent, that needs to be discussed. The bottom line is they have to be made comfortable in the context of medical assistance, pension, match fee etc. I don’t think it will be much of a burden on the BCCI. A percentage of money needs to be set aside.

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Cricketers have been talking about receiving contracts from their respective States?

Firstly the States have to give accounts of the money they receive from the BCCI. Where is that money being spent... for development of cricket, cricketers etc. The moment that accountability comes, all these things about contracts for players will start, and other facilities. Accountability will reveal if the money from BCCI is used the way it should be and for the purpose. That should be found out.

Will the BCCI fund the activities of the ICA?

The ICA will have to find ways to augment its fund. It cannot rely only on the BCCI. This way the ICA can function effectively and successfully.

What about the conflict of interest issues?

I agree with Sourav totally. Cricketers know only one thing and that’s cricket. They can coach and consult. That’s their living. Yes, conflict of interest, I don’t see everything as bad. But one cannot stop his son playing or coaching because he is in the BCCI. In one shot you are taking away the employment of families.