Shastri: 'Pujara should be in top bracket of central contracts'

Cheteshwar Pujara is currently in the Grade A of Central Contracts alongside Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay.

India's Cheteshwar Pujara (left) being greeted by coach Ravi Shastri.   -  K.R. Deepak

Ravi Shastri treats Cheteshwar Pujara as a special player. Just as Kapil Dev treated Shastri as one!

Speaking at a panel discussion on Rajdeep Sardesai’s book ‘Democracy’s XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story’, the India team coach said that Pujara deserved to be in the top bracket of the central contracts.

READ: CoA holds ‘productive’ talks with Kohli & Co.

“If you want to attract players to play Test cricket you would have to give them security. Pujara is your specialist batsman in Tests and deserves a hefty central contract,” said Shastri.

On the same subject, Kapil Dev said, “Do you question businessmen or actors why they get so much money? I don’t understand why do people ask questions when sportsmen make money. Why not? Most of them don’t have a career of more than 10 years. What is wrong if they get paid handsomely? I have seen some former sportsmen in dire straits financially. Would anyone be happy to see the sporting heroes in poor financial state?”

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Answering a question on how did he react to heckling by the crowd during his playing days, Shastri said, “I was inspired more to play better.” He was supported by Kapil Dev, “You must realise that Ravi would be batting slow under instructions from the captain. Often I told him to just stay at the crease and allow us to take chances at the other end.”

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