Domestic cricket's 'class divide'

Things had brightened up after the first season of the IPL, in 2008, when first-class cricketers were earning around Rs 40,000 per day. That's because apart from the Rs 10,000 all players are guaranteed for a day's work, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has been doling out a share of their profits, which, in the first year of the IPL, was massive. But since then, the profits have dipped.

updated: January 30, 2013 14:05 IST
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I'd asked Ryan ten Doeschate about what it's been like in the Netherlands dressing room since he started going back home with his IPL riches. Were his teammates jealous? He responded delicately: "There will be guys who are far better first-class cricketers than I am, but have not made their mark on T20 cricket, who will feel aggrieved that 'a slogger' is getting paid these disproportionate sums of money."

In India, for sure, the existence of the IPL has created distinct classes of haves and have-nots among cricketers – quite different from the earlier classification when you either played for the Indian team or didn't. Now, forget the ones who make it to the national team, there is a disparity of sorts even within the domestic scene. Indeed, some who were unable to make the cut in the 'days' format are on the other side of the fence now, with the 'haves'. As for the 'days' successes, unable as some of them have been to make the IPL cut, very little has changed.

Take Debabrata Das, for instance. He has finally made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bengal this season. He had played domestic Twenty20s in the past, but was never considered good enough for the four-day format. But chances are that he is better known and richer than, say, Anustup Majumdar or Rohan Banerjee, both regulars with Bengal. The reason: Das has become a regular for Kolkata Knight Riders.

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