The pandemic has essentially uncovered the flaws in the BCCI’s airtight domestic cricket system, which has delivered dozens of world-class red-ball cricketers such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, and Mohammed Siraj, among others. However, the stable production line is currently jeopardized because many first-class sportsmen are still without red-ball cricket and have yet to get remuneration for the Ranji Trophy 2020. VVS Laxman, the former India batsman, has advocated a local contract structure for first-class cricketers that may provide their financial security.
VVS Laxman stated, “I have been telling this for a long time, those first-class cricketers should get contracts from their state associations keeping in mind that they are sacrificing everything and they are dedicating themselves to this game. It is very important that a contract is handed over because what happens to a player if he suddenly gets injured? Suddenly there is no income for that player and if that player doesn’t have a job, then how is he going to look after himself and his family?”
VVS Laxman isn’t the only one who thinks this is a good idea. Several modern Indian first-class cricketers share these sentiments, but they refuse to comment on the record. Three cricketers from Karnataka, Bengal, and Gujarat agreed that a local contract for cricketers would provide them with financial security.
One of the first initiatives of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly after entering office was to emphasize domestic cricket. But, apart from IPL, he has been preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications on the upcoming tour.
BCCI pledged to come up with a compensation scheme for Ranji Trophy players during its annual general meeting, but it has yet to be implemented. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that few cricketers are hired by a state government agency, and even fewer play in the IPL, making it tough for some to make ends meet. Furthermore, not all red-ball cricketers play domestic limited-overs cricket, reducing the likelihood of earning money from white-ball match payments.