Niranjan Shah wants salary cap for guest players after Sheldon Jackson leaves Saurashtra for Puducherry

Written by Devendra Pandey
| Mumbai |

Updated: July 16, 2020 10:25:27 pm

Sheldon Jackson played a vital role in Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy win earlier this year. (Express file photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

There should be a salary cap on cricketers switching states to ply their trade as ‘guest players’ in order to stop poaching, says former Indian board secretary Niranjan Shah. “Ranji Trophy cannot become like IPL and poaching must be stopped,” he believes. The comments of the veteran Saurashtra Cricket Association administrator were triggered by Sheldon Jackson, one of Saurashtra’s top batsmen, leaving for Puducherry for a higher pay cheque.

“It’s a matter of concern for the home state because in the longer run, players will start negotiating with other associations. BCCI should introduce a cap system to ensure a guest player doesn’t earn more than a certain amount. Nine new teams have been included in the Ranji Trophy straightaway without proving anything. They will start bargaining like this,” Shah told The Indian Express.

Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji Trophy title this March with Jackson playing a vital role in the campaign.

BCCI allowed guest players in a domestic team more than a decade ago. The rationale behind the move, Shah explained, was that a quality player would get a chance to play cricket if he wasn’t being selected by his original team. The board allowed three guest players in a state team.

READ | Sheldon Jackson distributes free meals to underprivileged, feeds stray dogs

“There were many good players in Mumbai, Karnataka or other teams who couldn’t find a place in their respective teams because of big competition. So, the guest player concept was introduced. Now what is happening is players have started their own valuation. Ranji Trophy cannot become like IPL”.

The board doesn’t have any rule regarding remuneration of guest players. Many states hire former players as player-mentors in their teams so that young players can be groomed. Wasim Jaffer represented Vidarbha as a mentor-cum-player but was paid like any other player in his last domestic season.

Shah said Saurashtra never paid a single paisa above the BCCI fees to its guest players “The smaller state associations are getting money from the BCCI for development of cricket in their region. And not to give extra money to players. It took us more than 30 years to become a competitive team and win the Ranji Trophy. The board has to do something about this,” he added.

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