Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) isn’t looking to effect major changes in the contracts to be offered afresh to the players, but is open to suggestions from the intended beneficiaries.
For purposes of “feedback” more than anything else, two members of the BCCI review panel ' joint-secretary Goutam Das Gupta and acting executive secretary Prof. Ratnakar Shetty ' will meet “some seniors” in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
The third member, treasurer Jyoti Bajpai, won’t be part of the discussions as his newly-born grandson is unwell in Kanpur.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, Das Gupta and Prof. Shetty are likely to interact with captain Rahul Dravid, vice-captain Virender Sehwag and the senior-most pro ' Sachin Tendulkar.
Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble, who featured prominently in discussions leading up to the contracts’ introduction last year, aren’t going to be there.
Kumble is coming off an injury in Bangalore, while Sourav has been reduced to proving his worth in domestic cricket. He’s leading East in Mumbai.
However, a late development could see Kumble being requested (by teammates) to be around during the interaction.
Among other things, the review panel may well be interested to know whether the players are “satisfied” with the quarterly payments.
Then, a clarification could be sought on the “exclusive” deals some players have entered into (through agents) with certain TV channels and publications.
Technically, the contracts lapsed on September 30, but the review panel ' which will report to the all-important gradation committee ' didn’t get an opportunity to schedule a dialogue with the Dravids between then and Saturday.
The gradation committee, which is actually going to offer the contracts, has four members: The president, secretary, Team India coach and chairman of the senior selection committee.
The BCCI, one understands, intends continuing with the three-tier structure and the retainerships won’t change either ' Rs 50 lakh (grade A), Rs 35 lakh (grade B) and Rs 20 lakh (grade C).
Also, a maximum of 20 players can be offered contracts. Last year, the number was 17, with seven featuring in grade A.
Incidentally, only eight of the 15 picked for the first five ODIs of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka have contracts.
While Parthiv Patel and Akash Chopra (who haven’t represented India for over a year) are set to exit, Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have to be rewarded.
Somebody like Ashish Nehra, by the way, isn’t certain to keep his handsome retainership: Greg Chappell isn’t alone in being peeved with his attitude.