Millennium Post

BCCI to bill franchises for injury to players

Indian cricketers sustaining injuries while playing in the cash-rich IPL will now depend on their respective franchises to bear the costs of their rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The world’s richest cricket board finalised on the austerity measure to end the ‘ever-spiralling costs’ at the NCA committee meeting held in Chennai on Monday.

‘It has been decided that from now on, the respective franchise or the player himself will have to bear the cost of his rehabilitation programme at the NCA in case he sustains injury while playing in the IPL,’ said a BCCI official on condition of anonymity.

Since its inception in 2008, IPL has opened new vistas for Indian cricketers to earn handsome salaries. But until now, it was BCCI which paid for the rehabilitation of injured cricketers. There have been instances when players had to opt out of the national team after getting injured while playing in the mega cricket jamboree.

In 2009, Virender Sehwag couldn’t play in the Twenty20 World Cup after hurting his shoulder while leading Delhi Daredevils in the IPL semifinal against Deccan Chargers. The injury, described by coach Gary Kirsten as ‘Grade I tear’, raised the question why no medical solution was taken for close to three weeks to get the dashing opener in shape. While it will be wrong to say Sehwag’s presence would have changed India’s fortunes in the event, that a cricketer couldn’t play for his country in an ICC event because of an injury picked in a tournament that’s not in the list of the cricket’s apex body is never acceptable.

The decision should not put an additional burden on the franchises considering their whopping turn overs. Moreover, it will also make the cricketers more cautious, which at the end will benefit the national team.

According to sources, BCCI was shelling out a huge amount in the tune of Rs 5.5 crore to pay the salaries of NCA coaching and administrative staff. The board on Monday also pruned the 12-member support team to six. The three coaches to remain in BCCI pay rolls are bowling coach Bharath Arun, batting coach Dinesh Nanavati and coaches’ instructor Kinjal Suratwala. The other members of the support staff are physios Ashish Kaushik and Nitin Patel and trainer Sudarshan.

Further, the NCA committee trimmed the proposed budget of Rs 85 lakh to Rs 64 lakh for an U-16 camp. The proposal to hire five foreign coaches was also turned down. There has also been a proposal to rollback the salaries of the administrative staff.
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