Rahul Dravid’s sense of fairplay has brought some extra money to the support staff of India’s World Cup-winning under-19 team, and to the family of a trainer who passed away while on duty with the team last year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has accepted the head coach’s demand for parity in the cash rewards announced after the U-19 team’s triumph earlier this month. The Indian Express had reported on February 7 that Dravid had expressed reservations about accepting Rs 50 lakh when members of the support staff had got Rs 20 lakh each, and the players Rs 30 lakh each. He had asked for the removal of discrimination in the rewards offered to members of the coaching staff.
According to a revised list of cash awards, every member of the coaching staff, including Dravid, will receive Rs 25 lakh, it is learnt. The BCCI has also extended the list of beneficiaries by including members of the support staff who were part of the team’s almost year-long preparation leading up to the World Cup. This decision qualifies the family of team trainer Rajesh Savant, who died last year, to receive the victory incentive.
“From the time the award was announced, Dravid wasn’t happy with him getting much more than others. He informed the Board that he felt that every member had played an equal role in the team winning the World Cup. It surprised many in the BCCI that he was ready to take a cut in his own earning,” a Board member said on condition of anonymity.
During a meeting with BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri in Mumbai on February 14, the Indian batting legend was firm that he would not budge from his stance on equal rewards for all support staff. He also floated the idea of rewarding even those who weren’t in the tour party in New Zealand for the January 13 to February 3 ICC event, but had been with the team earlier.
Those who will now receive cash awards of Rs 25 lakh are bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, fielding coach Abhay Sharma, physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar, trainer Anand Date, masseur Mangesh Gaikwad, and video analyst Devraj Raut. The five additions to the list are that of W V Raman, who was the coach when the under-19 team toured England, logistics managers Manuj Sharma and Sumeet Malahapurkar, trainer Amogh Pandit, and the late trainer Rajesh Savant.
Addressing a press conference on returning from New Zealand, Dravid had said he credited the success of the team to the entire support staff who had worked hard behind the scenes. He had gently pointed out the disparity: “It’s a bit embarrassing at times because I tend to get a lot of attention and focus, but it is really about the support staff and the quality of people that we’ve had. I don’t want to mention names but everyone in the support staff has put in a great effort. We do the best for the kids.”