The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav may sit in judgement too
- Endorsement issue to be sorted out before contracts’ committee meets to decide the 20 placements

Calcutta: Team India captain Sourav Ganguly is likely to sit on the special committee to determine category-placements of the 20 players to be awarded contracts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The BCCI president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, coach John Wright and chief selector Syed Kirmani are, of course, certain to have seats on a committee which is going to have the biggest role in a precedent-setting exercise.

Assuming he is included, Sourav obviously won’t have a role in discussions specific to his own slotting. In any case, he is bound to be placed in category A, which assures an annual retainership of Rs 60 lakh.

While the retainership for category B will be Rs 30 lakh, those in category C are going to take home Rs 15 lakh.

The match fees, though, will be uniform for the playing XI with the non-playing members receiving 50 per cent.

After a series of delays — in fact, the first discussion between the BCCI and the seniors took place exactly three years ago, in Bangalore — the contracts should be in place well before the (July 16-August 1) Asia Cup.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, “everything is in order” except the clause pertaining to individual endorsements. Apparently, the BCCI has been “negotiating” with the lawyers of Sachin Tendulkar and vice-captain Rahul Dravid and a “solution” is in sight.

Incidentally, Sachin and Dravid’s lawyers have been representing all the senior pros.

“The odd clarification remains, otherwise it’s all in place… Perhaps the needful is going to be done once Sachin returns from his European holiday,” a well-placed source pointed out on Sunday evening.

If anything, the delay has worked to Irfan Pathan and Lakshmipathy Balaji’s advantage. After all, Pathan wasn’t anywhere in the frame at the start of the just-ended season and Balaji wouldn’t have made the cut had the contracts been introduced then itself — as was intended.

Today, after excelling in Australia and Pakistan, they are certainties.

As first reported in these columns, the 20 will be shortlisted by Kirmani and his colleagues (Kirti Azad, Pranab Roy, Kiran More and Sanjay Jagdale). The special committee gets into the act in stage II.

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