Sunil Gavaskar came down hard on India Cricketers’ Association (ICA) president Ashok Malhotra for his comments on pay cuts due to the lack of cricket being played at the moment amid the coronavirus crisis in the country.
Malhotra has said last month that Indian national team and first-class players should expect a pay cut even though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not confirm anything regarding this issue.
“I know it’s not fair to reduce the salaries of the players, but if the parent body is not earning as much as it was doing before, the cricketers will definitely have to expect a pay cut,” Ashok Malhotra had told the Times of India.
Malhotra’s comments did not go down well with Gavaskar, who questioned the ICA president’s credibility.
“Like with any sport, if you don’t play you don’t get paid and that’s what will happen. What was amusing though was to read that the president of the Indian Cricketers’ Association has said there should be pay cuts for the India internationals and the first-class players too.
“One can understand him trying to curry favour with the BCCI but with whose authority is he talking about the cuts is the question. The current India internationals and the first-class players are not members of the players’ body so he can’t be speaking on their behalf. It’s easy to talk about pay cuts if it doesn’t hurt your own pocket,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Mid-Day.
Malhotra’s comments had come just days before BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal clarified that whatever decision is made in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will be made “keeping the interest of all people in mind”.
“No, we have not spoken about this (pay cut). Whatever the steps after this setback, it will be taken judiciously and keeping the interest of all people in mind. Any step taken needs to be thought out and right now we haven’t even thought about it. Obviously this is a big setback, but we will go about this in a way that nobody gets affected. These things can be discussed once things settle down,” he said.
The BCCI is staring at huge financial losses if the Indian Premier League gets cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cash-rich tournament, which was scheduled to begin on March 29, has been postponed till April 14 due to the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
India is currently under a 21-day lockdown which will end on April 15. There have been over 3300 detected cases of coronavirus in India, as of 10AM on Sunday (April 5), with 77 deaths so far.