Help domestic players—Harbhajan to Kumble

Recently, Harbhajan Singh asked Anil Kumble, current India coach and his “ex-spin-bowling” partner, to lift the domestic cricketers’ match fees issue with the Committee of Administrators—a Supreme Court appointed committee.

Harbhajan was last seen in March 2016 playing for India in the Asia Cup T20 tournament held in Bangladesh. For the last 2 years, he is hardly seen in the national matches, making only blinking appearances. Harbhajan played his last Test and One-Day International matches both in 2015, and so, he is been spending his time with his Punjab team mates; this in turn has resulted in the request to Kumble.

Kumble is all set to visit Hyderabad and meet the CoA on May 20, 2017 and May 21, 2017—the same day of the IPL 2017 final. The meeting is particularly to discuss about the pay structure revision for covenanted Indian cricketers, who are presently bifurcated in 3 categories—Rs 2 Crore, Rs 1 Crore and Rs 50 Lakh annually.

Harbhajan wrote to Kumble in order to make his point, reported Press Trust of India. “It’s been the last 2–3 years (that) I am playing Ranji Trophy. I hate that I’ve found constant struggle around me in the financial situation of my first-class teammates even though Ranji Trophy is hosted by the richest cricket board in the world,” Harbhajan wrote. “I appeal to you as a player, who is an inspiration and role model for all Ranji players.

Harbhajan not only asked Kumble to take raise this issue to the BCCI, but he also asked him to bring former legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, and Virender Sehwag in this matter, and point out that it’s been more than a decade that the domestic cricketers’ fee structure for has not been raised.

Harbhajan further wrote, “I request you to please take this up with the top brass of BCCI and players like Sachin, Rahul, Laxman, Viru to ensure that a change is brought about in the pay structure, in the amounts they get paid. I am willing to help/assist in any way to help bring in a change. It’s shocking to say the least that the payment system hasn’t been changed since 2004. Imagine the value of 100 rupees then and now. It is so different.

Harbhajan said that he has observed the domestic cricketers’ dilemma only because he has spent more time with them after losing his position in the Indian team as a regular. He further said that though the IPL has certainly improved lives of many, there are still a vast number who are not lucky enough to grab an IPL contract. Do you agree with Harbhajan?

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