Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah doesn’t want the Ranji Trophy to turn into another Indian Premier League (IPL) spin-off, where trading of cricketers is a regular fixture. He stated that a salary cap should be imposed on players who choose to represent teams other than their home state.
Niranjan Shah’s reaction was triggered due to batsman Sheldon Jackson’s shift from his home state Saurashtra to Puducherry for better pay in the upcoming domestic season.
“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,” Niranjan Shah was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Sheldon Jackson in the previous Ranji Trophy season
Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji Trophy title in March, with Sheldon Jackson playing a major role throughout the campaign. Sheldon Jackson was the leading run-scorer for Saurashtra last season, with 809 runs at an average of 50.56 with three hundreds and three fifties.
The 33-year-old Sheldon Jackson averages an impressive 49.42 from 76 first-class games, with 19 hundreds and 27 fifties to his name.
The BCCI have allowed guest players to represent different Ranji Trophy teams for more than 10 years now. Former board functionary Niranjan Shah explained that the logic behind the move was to give enough opportunities to talented players who failed to get picked for their original states.
“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,” Niranjan Shah felt.
Cricketers like Rajat Bhatia, Aakash Chopra, Wasim Jaffer and R. Vinay Kumar have done well when they have moved away from home to new Ranji teams. Apart from Sheldon Jackson, paceman Sandeep Warrier will be another quality cricketer making a move from Kerala to Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy.
Niranjan Shah highlighted the fact that Saurashtra have never paid anything above the BCCI fees to their 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,” the outspoken BCCI secretary said.