No double pay for Test reserve, Shardul Thakur

The Mumbai pacer rushed to join the Indian squad on the eve of the Test match, which collided with the first day of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy game against Punjab in Rajkot, as a back-up to Mohammad Shami. However, after he failed to make cut to the playing XI, Thakur flew back to Rajkot on Thursday evening and resumed duties in Mumbai’s whites.

Shardul Thakur thus finds a mention in India’s squad and also Mumbai’s for two different first-class matches at the same time.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Shardul Thakur’s call-up and release from India’s Test squad for the fourth Test against England has become a tale as intriguing, if not more, than the tale of the absence of a Mumbaikar in the Indian team for the first time in a Test match in the maximum city.

The Mumbai pacer rushed to join the Indian squad on the eve of the Test match, which collided with the first day of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy game against Punjab in Rajkot, as a back-up to Mohammad Shami. However, after he failed to make cut to the playing XI, Thakur flew back to Rajkot on Thursday evening and resumed duties in Mumbai’s whites.

Interestingly, Thakur thus finds a mention in India’s squad and also Mumbai’s for two different first-class matches at the same time. But, if you are thinking that he hit a bounty – getting paid twice – then you are mistaken.

This is not the first instance of a player being called up to join the national squad mid-way through a domestic game. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a policy of paying such players the match-fees for the international game. As a result, Thakur is set to be paid Rs 7.5 lakh for being an India reserve and not for the game in which he actually played a part.

“The BCCI wants to be fair to players, so it’s a convention to pay the match-fees for the India game and not the domestic game whenever a player has to join the (India) squad in the middle of a domestic match,” a BCCI insider revealed to Sportstar.

Thakur was listed as the 13th member in the 15-member Indian squad on the first morning of the Test match. As a result, according to the BCCI rules, being a reserve, he will be paid half the match fees earned by a playing member. With the BCCI hiking Test-match fees to Rs 15 lakh per game, it has resulted in a windfall not just for the regulars but even for reserves like Thakur.