Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his predecessor, and Ravi Shastri, the head coach, found favour with members of the Committee of Administrators in their desire for a pay hike and their concerns over a packed schedule during a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday (November 30).
The captain-coach duo and Dhoni met with Vinod Rai, the CoA head, and Diana Edulji, the other remaining member of the Supreme Court-appointed CoA panel, along with Rahul Johri, the CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
“We had extensive discussions with players on issues that pertain to them directly, which means the number of matches they have to play, the Future Tours Program (FTP) and compensation package etc,” PTI quoted Rai as telling reporters after the two-hour meeting.
“All the inputs they have to give us were taken and we are going to factor those in. The FTP, we bounced it off them,” Rai said. “Presentations have been made and they are in agreement with the FTP so that they get enough rest. The number of days (of international cricket the team will be involved in), I can’t tell you as we have not yet worked it out.”
Kohli had recently bemoaned the lack of time to acclimatise to South African conditions ahead of India’s tour there next month, forcing the team management to try and simulate potential South African conditions during the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka. India complete their engagements against Sri Lanka on December 24, and have just one two-day practice game in South Africa from December 30 before the first of three Tests starts in Cape Town on January 5.
Rai did not expand on the proposed hike in pay but said Kohli and Dhoni were both comfortable with the structure being chalked out. It may be remembered that Anil Kumble, the former head coach, had been asked to come up with a detailed presentation on pay packages across the board earlier this year, a presentation he made before the CoA during the IPL final in Hyderabad in the third week of May.
“The principles on which compensation package has to be structured, that has been agreed to,” Rai went on. “It’s only a question of numbers now. We will now match the revenue with compensation that each player receives.
“All the discussions were very fruitful and they (Kohli and Dhoni) were very receptive as a consequence of which it’s the first time that anyone is having a dialogue with them. Otherwise it used to be decisions taken and just communicated to them.”
A press release from the BCCI also quoted Rai as saying, “It was a productive meeting. The team management was very forthcoming with their recommendations and their thoughts on various issues. This was a path-breaking initiative, we feel we’ve found a common ground and aligned our thoughts for the betterment of the game – be it the policies under which the player remuneration and FTP will be worked upon.”