Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman want to be suitably remunerated for picking the national coach. The three former cricketers, who are part of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that held its first meeting after the India-Sri Lanka game at the Oval on Thursday, informed BCCI CEO Rahul Johri that they don’t want their services to be honorary.
Johri is expected to pass on the message to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which will have to take the final call on the demand put forward by Indian cricket’s ‘Big Three’.
While the CoA’s decision is awaited, there are those in the BCCI who feel the CAC members shouldn’t be paid. “This happens to be a BCCI sub-committee, plus one of them happens to be a BCCI member. Since members of various other BCCI committees don’t get paid, CAC can’t be an exception. There was this demand earlier too, but BCCI turned it down,” said a BCCI office-bearer.
While Ganguly is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), both he and Laxman are BCCI-contracted commentators.
The CAC first floated the request for remuneration in 2015, within months of the late BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya forming the high-profile committee as a way of giving a major say to the game’s greats in cricketing matters.
It is learnt that at one of the early meetings, one of the CAC members asked the BCCI office-bearer for a contract. “Even at that point, we had sent them a ‘scope of work’ document. They sent it back to us, but we expressed our helplessness. The ‘scope of work’ document had the terms of reference, but no monetary commitment,” said a BCCI official.
It was reportedly Dalmiya who turned down the request. “According to him, the BCCI does not traditionally pay its committee members. The members are provided accommodation, daily allowance and a car on days of meetings. This is what is extended to CAC,” said a former BCCI office bearer.
Dalmiya, at that point, had welcomed the former cricketers’ new administrative role. “I am happy to note that our eminent cricketers have come forward to lend their experience and insights as we work towards a common goal of taking Indian cricket to greater heights. The coming generations are bound to benefit from the guidance that will be provided by these luminaries and will go a long way in strengthening our existing system,” he had said.
“The noble intention to ‘give back to the game’ is commendable,” the then secretary Anurag Thakur had said.
The BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has denied the development, saying that “there has been no such claim and the story is totally baseless and devoid of facts.” Johri, in a press release issued a day after the report was published, went on to add: “The contents of this article are malicious and such attempts to dilute and misrepresent the continued contribution of these former legends of Indian Cricket are totally incorrect and unfounded.”
However, the board sources confirmed that the members of the CAC had asked for remuneration. The Indian Express stands by the story.