India-Australia rivalry won't affect IPL: Ravi Shastri – Former Test captain Ravi Shastri says Pujara’s BCCI contract should compensate for missing out on T20 league
Ravi Shastri (DNA – G Krishnan)
Virat Kohli may have said last week that he may not be friends with some of the Australian cricketers any more while his India teammate Rohit Sharma said on Sunday that he gets along with them.
The recent India-Australia Test rivalry will not have any impact on the upcoming IPL-10, what with three Australians leading their respective sides against five Indians.
Former India captain Ravi Shastri, who has been in television broadcasting ever since his retirement from cricket in 1994, said here on Monday that there will be no issues between India and Australia players.
"They are playing for franchises, they play as a team. With three Aussie and five Indian captains, they have have to go for toss at least, isn't it,?" Shastri said before bursting into laughter.
Asked if Kohli's remarks during the series affected his batting, the 54-year-old said: "It can happen. He is young. He will learn on the job. He will learn from mistakes. (Australia captain) Steve Smith is also young but he admitted to his mistake in the end."
An ardent supporter of IPL, Shastri said he would not be surprised if IPL 2017 goes on to be the biggest of all the editions, and the reason should go to India's tremendous performance over the season in Tests.
"It (IPL) has got bigger every year. I thought it was biggest last year and I won't be surprised if IPL-10 is the biggest. The way India has played last season will be a big boost, being the No. 1 (Test) team in the world, No. 1 & No. 2 across all formats will make a big difference."
One of the key performers for India in Tests, Cheteshwar Pujara may have amassed 1,316 runs in the season. Yet, he does not have an IPL contract. Missing out on IPL contract also means missing out on the extra money that his other India teammates may be earning. Pujara has to make do with his Grade A retainership of Rs 2 crore plus his match fees.
Shastri said that Pujara should be compensated adequately and that the Grade A retainership of Rs 2 crore paid by the Board of Control for Cricket in India "is nothing".
"Rupees two rore is nothing. It is peanuts. See how much an Australian is getting, (approx) Rs 8 crore. Pujara should be compensated (for not getting an IPL contract). The grade contract of the Test players should be the highest. Pujara should be the highest, on par with the top players. When it comes to 'A' grade players, it has to be massive. I know it has been doubled (from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore).
"An A grade cricketer like Pujara gets a massive amount so that he is not bothered if he plays IPL or not. He will be happy to be playing two months of England county cricket."
Continuing on his favourite topic, IPL, Shastri said there might be some unknown player with some extraordinary talent waiting to set the IPL 2017 ablaze.
"They will do because you don't know what the guys are practicing. A new talent will come on the block that will take all you guys by storm. Suddenly, he might be India material. All these guys, (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Hardik) Pandya, did well in the IPL to again come back into focus when they were not doing well. It is a massive stage," he said.
Shastri also made known his dislike for too many ICC tournaments, particularly the Champions Trophy.
"T20 is the future. If you want Test cricket to survive, you need one cash card. I have always maintained that. If you ask me, five years down the line, there will be very little 50 over cricket. I think there are too many ICC events," he said.
Shastri gave thumbs up for Test cricket and T20 going forward. "What else do you need? What do you need Champions Trophy for? What are you trying to prove?" said the 'Champion of Champions' in 1985 B&H World Championship of Cricket.