Uncapped Indian player Manish Pandey's decision to turn down a renewed contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the fourth edition of the Indian Premeir League drove home the point that uncapped players are getting a raw deal.
Regardless of the fact that they perform as well if not better than their capped contemporaries, they were kept out of the lucrative player auction due to some last minute policy changes by the BCCI, which reek of injustice. Now, they have to settle for a meagre pay-packet which ranges between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, depending on their seniority as first-class cricket players.
What only emphasizes the unfairness of this arrangement is that many of the young "capped" players, i.e. players who have represented India in at least one match, made a killing in the IPL auction. And this is despite the fact that they did precious little during their temporary stints with Team India.
For instance, former Mumbai Indians opener Shikhar Dhawan, got out for a second-ball duck in the only one-day match he played for India, which was against Australia in October last year. Yet in the IPL auction last weekend, he was bought by the Deccan Charges for a whopping Rs 1.38 cr ($300,000).
Then, his ex-team-mate Saurabh Tiwary appeared in all of two one-day matches for the country (against New Zealand in Dec last year) and batted in only one, but picked up a exorbitant pay-check of Rs 7.36 cr (1.4 million)!
But the biggest shocker was the deal clinched by seamer Umesh Yadav. Yadav was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for a staggering $750,000 (that about Rs 3 cr) after appearing with a second-string Indian team for a tri-nation series in Zimbabwe, where he took just 1 wicket in 3 matches at a ridiculous average of 129.00 and an economy rate of
In the same series, Madhya Pradesh player in the Ranji Trophy Naman Ojha, made just 1 run in the opener's slot in his only one-day match, which was against Sri Lanka. But he was bought for Rs 1.24 cr ($270,000) by the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL's player auction.
Equally baffling is how seamer Jaidev Unadkat who went wicketless in the one Test he has played for India, was picked up for $250,000 by the Kolkata Knightriders. Meanwhile former Royal Challengers Banaglore fast bowler R Vinay Kumar has just played a couple of ODIs for India, but that didn't deter Team Pune from picking him up for a whopping $475,000.
Something is seriously wrong with such a system which so heavily rewards players who have put in mediocre performances for Team India, when players like Manish Pandey, who incidentally scored the first century in the IPL, is not even in contention for a similar reward. It indeed seems like the BCCI will have to rethink their policies or else the spurned players might be inclined to unionise themselves in order to wrest back more rights.