Fast bowler Mohammed Shami was upgraded to business class on Team India’s flight after the recent Vizag Test, a privilege not accorded to his teammates. After the preceding match, it was Ishant Sharma who travelled in relative luxury.
The measure is part of a team-bonding exercise where the best performer of the most recent game gets to travel business class. “The entire team can’t get seats in business class. Those seat are few in number. So the team management decided to reward business class seats for performers. After the Vizag Test, Shami was given a business class seat. Before that Ishant got it,” sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.
Considering that the fast bowlers are the ones expending the most energy on the field, they arguably deserve to travel in more comfort, especially if they have played a starring role in the match. Ishant will also enjoy the extra leg room that business class provides.
In another decision taken by the team management, the vice-captain of the side will now have a suite at his disposal on the team’s travels. It comes after new manager Girish Dongre voluntarily decided not to a take big room available to him. The board, while finalising any tie-ups with hotels in India and abroad, gets three suites at the price of normal rooms. Head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli used to avail two of them.
The convention, before the South Africa series, was for the Man of the Match in the previous game to get the third suite. It was considered an exercise in team-building and bonding. But now, Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain of the Test team, and Rohit Sharma, the deputy for one-dayers and T20 Internationals, will get the bigger rooms in the team hotels. “Now it is decided that the vice-captain should get the third suite as he is the second-most important person in the team,” a source informed.
This article appeared in the print edition with the headline ‘Now, cricketers can earn their business-class tickets’