Sehwag credits Tendulkar, Kumble and Dravid for better pay share

Speaking at the launch of the IPKL Kabaddi League, Virender Sehwag hailed the Indian cricketing stalwarts for setting a precedent that can benefit all sport in the country.

Virender Sehwag

Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag unveils the logo of Indo International Premier Kabaddi League (IIPKL) at a press conference, in New Delhi on Wednesday.   -  PTI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is on the cusp of having its own Players’ Association within the next few days. However, the seeds were first sown by former captains Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble when they formed a ‘Players’Association’ demanding a share from the BCCI’s TV rights deal.

Financially more secure than athletes in any other sport in India, the current generation of cricketers owe their stability to Tendulkar, Dravid and Kumble for having fought for their cause, said former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag.

“We had to fight to get a share of revenue from BCCI but I don’t think there is any such precedence in any other sport. Had the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Kumble not fought for our rights, we wouldn’t have been where we are today,” Sehwag said on the sidelines of newly launched IPKL Kabaddi Leage.

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“If you see, there was no friction after that,” he added, referring to the trio’s fight for a share in BCCI revenue for players back in 2001-02.

The context of his comment was IPKL organisers committing 20 per cent of their revenue reserved for players.

“I once spoke to former India hockey captain Sardar Singh, who told me that he used to receive mere TA/DA while representing the country and no match fees,” Sehwag said.

"If IPKL is sharing 20 percent revenue for players, it's a good thing. Other sports can learn from this move," he added.

While there is already a Pro-Kabaddi League backed by the national federation, Sehwag sees no harm in having a parallel league that can benefit India players.

“Don’t confuse this with cricket. BCCI’s revenue pool is so huge that it can possibly be much more than all Olympic sports put together. Also in cricket, we have so many tournaments, we don’t have place for another league,”he said.

“However in Kabaddi, there is no harm in having a two different leagues and allowing players to play both. We have recently lost to Iran in the Asian Games and it hurt me. We should have a bigger pool of players,” said the former captain.