India's cricketers must cut down on their commercial dealings, the country's former captains have recommended to the Board of Control for Cricket in India while reviewing the team's World Cup debacle and suggesting ways to move forward.
Seven former Indian captains - Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ravi Shastri, Kris Srikkanth, S Venkataraghavan and Chandu Borde - met the BCCI bigwigs and discussed a variety of issues. It is understood that there was no specific discussion on individual players, the performance of the team in the World Cup or the performance of Greg Chappell as coach. Instead, the captains, who had come to the meeting armed with a number of points, looked forward to what needed to be done to improve the health of Indian cricket in general.
One of the suggestions put forward was related to player endorsements, with the panel suggesting that the players take the board's permission before entering into a contract. They also added that a copy of the contract should be submitted to the BCCI in order to ensure that there is no clause therein related to performance-based incentives. Also, not more than two or three players must endorse a product other than those by BCCI sponsors, they felt.
"This was one of the most constructive meetings I have ever attended with the board," one of the captains told Cricinfo. "We discussed some crucial aspects, one of the key was strengthening junior cricket. I don't want to give too many specific details, but here's one example: Tiger Pataudi spoke of how players learned how to dive and anticipate in fielding when they were 15, and not 25, so more focus needed to be given to the quality of coaching, umpiring and wickets at that level, so that no aaltu-faltu cricketers come through to the highest level."
Here are the salient points discussed
Strengthening of domestic cricket to ensure the participation of international cricketers. The international calendar can be adjusted by 6-8 weeks to include these cricketers.
Improving wickets: The BCCI must ensure "sporting and lively wickets" which are prepared under the supervision of the pitches committee.
Players must take the board's permission before entering into an endorsement contract. A copy of the contract should be submitted to the BCCI in order to ensure that there is no clause therein related to performance-based incentives. Also, not more than two or three players must endorse a product other than those by BCCI sponsors.
The Ranji Trophy Elite group should be trimmed to 10 teams instead of the current 15 and the matches should be played on a round-robin league basis to improve the quality of domestic cricket
The selectors should be appointed on a full-time basis and with payment involved.
Greater care should be taken in the appointment of selectors to the junior selection committee.
The Indian team must have a pool of 30 cricketers who should be rotated so that no player plays more than 80 days in a year.