Manprit Juneja on domestic contracts: BCCI richest board, players should also be richest

At a time when the cricketing fraternity appears divided on whether there should be a player contract for the domestic cricketers, Juneja bats in favour of a contract system.

Manprit Juneja was a key figure of the Gujarat team that won its maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2016-17.

Manprit Juneja was a key figure of the Gujarat team that won its maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2016-17. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI / The Hindu.

At a time when the cricketing fraternity appears divided on whether there should be a player contract for the domestic cricketers, Juneja bats in favour of a contract system.

Manprit Juneja retired from all forms of cricket in March this year. In his long career, the batter was a key figure of the Gujarat team that won its maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2016-17 and was also a part of the sides that won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2015-16 and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2012-13 and 2013-2014 seasons respectively.

It’s been six months since he has moved on from the game and the Ahmedabad-based Juneja is currently busy in the world of finance, managing his family wealth. “Not a lot of people know this but I am into the finance market. I am into equities and stuff like that and I manage most of my family wealth. That’s what is keeping me busy,” he tells  Sportstar on the sidelines of the Sportstar West Sports Conclave.

Aware of the uncertainty that a sportsperson goes through, especially after retirement, Juneja wants to create awareness in the sporting community about how to plan things better. “I want to create awareness among sports people so that they can understand that when they play for a span of 10-15 years, it is enough time to build enough wealth. Most players fail to do that and that’s one kind of awareness I would want to put forward,” he says.

After playing domestic cricket and IPL for about a decade, Juneja got interested in the finance market about five years ago. “Sometime in 2017, I became more educated about the finance market and the potential they have to build wealth for yourself. I want to pass on this knowledge to the cricketers so that they know that if they start saving early, they can have enough corpus to take care of things for the first one or two years after retirement,” Juneja says.

“While they try and figure out what to do next, this early planning can give the players that cushion. I have seen when the best of players - who have even played the IPL - retire, they feel worried as to what they would do next. But planning things in advance certainly helps…”

While Juneja learnt things by himself, he believes that one should consult the experts and plan their finances accordingly, keeping the future aspect in mind. “When you played the sport, you trusted the expert - the coach, the physio. Since it is not your field, it is important that you trust an expert here as well. If you are interested in doing it yourself, then learn about the companies, learn about the returns, but you need to realise that it is something that requires equal importance and that’s something that can help you grow wealth for generations…”

At a time when the cricketing fraternity appears divided on whether there should be a player contract for the domestic cricketers, Juneja bats in favour of a contract system. “Having a contract system always works. Since we are the richest cricket board, then our players also need to be the richest as well. That makes a lot of sense when the domestic players have a contract. That would also help the players build a decent corpus even though he or she is just a domestic cricketer and is not playing the IPL or the Women’s T20 league. They can still live a comfortable life and that’s most important,” he says.

Since we are the richest cricket board, then our players also need to be the richest as well. 

—  Manprit Juneja

“The BCCI will eventually figure out a way on how to go about it just like the way it found a way to have a pension scheme for the retired players. I am sure the Board will figure out a way where at least the players will be paid fairly if not handsomely…”

The 31-year-old Juneja played for India A and India Under-23 and represented Gujarat in 63 Ranji Trophy matches. He also played seven matches for Delhi Daredevils in the 2013 edition of the IPL. And now that he has moved on, he wants to mentor youngsters and guide them on how to be a ‘complete cricketer’ - both on and off the field.

“I would like to mentor cricketers and provide them with the best platform and pass on the knowledge as to how you can be one up than your competitor. What are those things that can make you a complete cricketer and in today’s world, a complete cricketer is someone who manages things well both on and off the field,” he says.

“How does a cricketer manage his life so that the family benefits from it is also important. So, mentoring is something I will be interested in, going forward…”

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