BCCI may withdraw participation in IPL February 29, 2008

India's coaching staff fear double standards

Venkatesh Prasad may have no role to play in the IPL if the BCCI has its way © AFP

The Indian board's plan to rethink its earlier decision allowing the coaching staff with the national team to sign on full-time with any of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises has not gone down well with the team management in Australia, Cricinfo has learnt. Two of India's support staff have tied up with IPL teams for the six-week tournament but may have to pull out if the board does not agree.

"What I fail to understand is how all the Indian players are being allowed to play for the IPL and not the coaches," said a source close to the team's support staff. "The players are still in contract with the BCCI and will be paid even when they are playing in the IPL so why not the coaches? Besides, when the players are involved with the IPL there won't be any international matches involving India, so what should these coaches do?"

Gary Kirsten, who will take over as India coach on March 1, has refused to be part of the IPL, saying he wants to concentrate on the forthcoming Test series against South Africa. But the bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad, has tied up with the Bangalore franchise and the fielding coach, Robin Singh is slated to coach the Hyderabad team.

A board official told Cricinfo there "might be a conflict of interest" later on and the BCCI wanted the coaches to be "wholly dedicated" to the national side.

Interestingly, the source claimed that Prasad and Robin currently do not have a formal contract with the board, though they have been receiving monthly payments for their services. "These coaches are getting a monthly remuneration for their services and I can tell you it is well below the global salary levels," the source said.

Board officials, though, say both are contracted to them until May this year.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo