It was interesting to read that the IPL Governing Council has decided to ban Manish Pandey for four games from the next edition of the IPL. The reason was quite obvious – Pandey had tried to pull one on one of the franchises by asking for much more money and there was a complaint. The IPL found that there was truth in the complaint and had decided to go for the jugular.
It was not quite the jugular actually. Last time someone had done this was Ravindra Jadeja and he had been sent packing for the entire year. This time, it is only four games. And one gets the sense that the issue was similar.
Both, Pandey and Jadeja – at the time of the signing of the contract – hadn’t played international cricket. This meant that they could not be included in the auction and in the process, could not bargain their contracts. The BCCI had decided that the young Indian cricketers would end up getting anywhere Rs.20 to 50 lakhs for the IPL if they hadn’t been a part of the Indian team yet. That, by itself is a lot of money but clearly, Pandey and Jadeja had not been satisfied and hence they demanded more money.
Now, what I do not understand is the rule. It says that cricketers who haven’t played international cricket but been a part of the Ranji team for more than five years will be paid Rs.50 lakh. Those between two and five years will be paid Rs.30 lakh and less than two seasons earn Rs.20 lakhs. But, someone like Saurabh Tiwary, who has batted in only two ODIs so far, stands to get Rs. 7 crores, or Rs. 700 lakhs – almost 15 times what Pandey would have got. Only because he has played in a couple of international games?
If the BCCI really wants to ensure that the youngsters do not get carried away, they must have demarcation for the Indian international players as well. Something of a threshold of 20 ODIs or 5-6 Tests to put them directly into the auction. One can rest assured that if someone like Tiwary would have got Rs.1 crore for having played in international cricket but below the threshold then the situation that arose with the Pandey issue would have never arisen.
Anyway, this is not to say that whatever Pandey did was correct – greed is slowly becoming a vice that could engulf the Indian cricket badly enough to mess up with the youngsters. Will the BCCI do something about it?