Ex-skippers urge players to cut down endorsements

Published: Saturday, April 7, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:India's super-rich cricketers must cut down on their commercial dealings, the country's former captains recommended on Friday while reviewing the team's World Cup debacle.

Seven ex-captains, summoned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to chart a future course of action, also wanted the team's international commitments curtailed to prevent burn-out.

The BCCI met the former skippers - Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Chandu Borde, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth - on the first day of a two-day brainstorming session here.

A BCCI release issued after the meeting said the captains had suggested 10 measures to improve cricket in the country after Rahul Dravid's men were knocked out of the World Cup in the first round.

The players must not only limit the number of endorsements, but also take the BCCI's permission and submit a copy of the contract before signing a new commercial deal.

Indian players are much sought after by companies for endorsing their products in a country where cricket is the most popular sport.

Superstar Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the world's richest cricketers, reportedly has sponsorships worth 400 million dollars.

The former captains said the BCCI should take steps to curtail Test and one-day engagements and recommended that a pool of 30 players be rotated so that a cricketer does not play more than 80 days in a year.

India are due to play a minimum of 15 five-day Tests and at least 40 one-dayers over the next 12 months starting with a tour of Bangladesh in May.

The domestic system should be made stronger, the captains said, adding the international calendar be adjusted so that star players play six to eight weeks of domestic matches.

The captains also recommended that the slow wickets around the country be replaced by sporting pitches so that batsmen do not struggle when confronted by fast wickets abroad.

The system of appointing five honorary selectors be abolished, the captains suggested. Instead, there should be full-time paid selectors drawn from the vast pool of former players.

The second-string 'A' teams should tour Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies on a regular basis so that younger players get a chance to play on good wickets before being drafted into the national side.

The recommendations are expected to be ratified by the influential working committee of the BCCI on Saturday.


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