Money matters in age of 'muddled' priorities

Kolkata -- Rajasthan Royals' Kumar Boresa is the youngest cricketer in this edition of the Indian domestic Twenty20 league. Picked from obscurity and handed a chance to mingle with the best in the business, Boresa hasn't played a T20 match for his state.

His is a rags-to-riches story. Like Javed Khan of the Mumbai Indians and others in the past -- Kamran Khan, Swapnil Asnodkar, VRV Singh and Paul Valthaty, the list is expected to grow.

But for every Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja there are others who have failed to make a mark on the domestic scene. Ask Manvinder Bisla, who hops on to a different team every Ranji season, or maybe Yusuf Pathan and Saurabh Tiwary, who have loads of potential but don't have enough results to merit a stable India berth.

But such is the lure of the T20 league that it has become more coveted than a top name in the longer format. In fact, it is a perfect dream for the next generation of cricketers.

All about money

"Let's get this straight. It's is only about money," said Debu Mitra, coach of this year's Ranji finalists Saurashtra and under whom the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Jadeja blossomed.

"If an uncapped player gets R10 lakh for about 50 days of cricket, he doesn't need to play for the rest of the year. No wonder they are more concerned about getting a contract rather than thinking of making the Ranji team or zonal team. The workload too is much less compared to Ranji," said Mitra.

The arithmetic is simple. Had it not been for the rebel T20 league, which almost pulled off a coup with a player exodus in 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would not have been forced to revise the fee structure. Before the rebel league, a Ranji player used to get R16,000 per day.

After the revision, it became almost R35,000, pretty much the same rate going these days. While that means it will take a top domestic player at least seven Ranji matches, roughly 200 hours, to earn around R10 lakh, Boresa may not even have to play a single match to earn its equivalent.

"I'm inundated with calls from parents who want to know whether their wards are good enough to get a T20 team contract," said former national selector, Sambaran Banerjee, who also heads one of the biggest cricket academies in Kolkata. "Now even the most inexperienced player can earn as much as an MBA. Parents are influenced by that kind of statistic," said Banerjee.

Technique affected

The slam-bang cricket has started to affect their technique too. Instead of focusing on playing every ball according to its merit and always with a straight bat, almost every youngster is tempted to go for a reverse sweep or scoop shot. "The basic thing is he will never learn to defend. Here a dot ball means you have lost out on a chance to score," said Mitra.

"T20 cricket is about highs and lows. Asnodkar and Valthaty are experiencing that low. Not Jacques Kallis or Rahul Dravid because they have got their basics right. Nowadays, kids are more interested in playing cute shots rather than focusing on stance and balance," said Banerjee.

Both Mitra and Banerjee feel quality players will emerge despite the clamour for T20 cricket. "It's a matter of choice and how serious a kid is about his cricket," said Banerjee.

"We got Sachin when everyone was looking for the next Sunil Gavaskar," said Mitra. "Even Sachin will retire soon. Players will come and go, but only the ones who deserve it will wear the India jersey."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »