| Rahul Dravid
Calcutta: For the past week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has repeatedly said it won’t entertain players’ agents on the endorsements issue.
On the face of it, the BCCI can’t be faulted. However, it courts the same agents for sponsoring tournaments!
It’s no secret, for example, that the BCCI sold the rights for last April’s two-match series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi to Percept, the agency which handles the accounts of Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Sreesanth.
Percept then roped in DLF as sponsor.
Five months later, after two failed tenders, Percept came to the BCCI’s rescue and got a sponsor — DLF again — for the (off-shore) tri-series in Kuala Lumpur.
If the BCCI actually has such strong reservations, then it shouldn’t be dealing with agents at all. It has exposed itself to the charge of following double standards.
“It’s absurd that I’m perfectly acceptable when I wear one hat and become a pariah when I wear a different one… The BCCI must stop being whimsical,” somebody associated with the trade told The Telegraph.
It’s a reasonable call.
The players, meanwhile, aren’t just upset with the cap on endorsements — the BCCI, though, has announced it will be reviewed — but with the stipulation that they can’t feature in sponsor related events 15 days before any tour.
Team India’s calender in the immediate future is such that there may not be 15-day breaks between commitments.
An example: The tour of Ireland and England ends on September 8 and the Twenty20 World Cup (in South Africa) gets underway a mere three days later.
Besides restrictions on players (maximum of three endorsements), the BCCI has ruled that no sponsor can “contract more than three players.”
The sponsors have to work through the agents.
Captain Rahul Dravid has already called for a dialogue with the BCCI, but the impression one gets is that everybody is buying time.
“Abhi shanti hai… Let everything remain quiet,” remarked a senior BCCI office-bearer.
He may want shanti, but is it the proverbial lull before the storm'
If the players need to get their act right on the field, the administrators have to really buck up off it.
Wolrd Cup Squad 'Managers'
21st Century Media: Captain Rahul Dravid, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan.
Iconix: Vice-captain Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh.
Percept: Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Sreesanth.
Gameplan: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Munaf Patel, Robin Uthappa.
Globosport: Zaheer Khan, Dinesh Karthik.
Collage Sports Management: Virender Sehwag.
Note: Anil Kumble, who has since retired from ODIs, isn’t associated with any firm. Apparently, elder brother Dinesh handles his dealings.