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Cricket as a Career
In the memory of countless cricket lovers, experts and analysts who had access to blow – by – blow account of the historic biddings of cricket teams and players in Mumbai, the day, February 20, 2008 would remain etched for ever as a red – letter day in the annals of the game.
It was on this day that BCCI Backed Indian Premier League ( IPL ) registered its entry in the cricket scenario, thereby signalling a pathbreaking development in the realm of cricket as a thoroughly professional money – powered and commercially prospective game.
First the teams and then the players were put into auction. Both of them were sold off at unimaginable prices. The whole IPL episode highlights the career prospects for the youngsters.
The players are making money for themselves, their families and most of all, making name for themselves in the cricket history.
So, gone are the days when parents would ask their kids to stop playing outside and focus on studies. The time has come when parents have realised this fact that children’s lives should be enriched in all aspects, especially sports which figures high on the list of ‘must learns’.
The Indian Premier League auction of various Indian and international players have made cricket a viable career option.
The multi – crore pay outs to these players have compelled parents to consider sports as a sustainable career option for their children.
Even the schools are not averse to supporting sportsman students. Ms. Lata Vaidyanath, Principal, Delhi’s Modern School, Barakhamba Road, talks about her student Manan Sharma who is an XIth class student and is youngest player in the Delhi Ranji cricket team.
He is free to make his time table and the school accommodate him accordingly. Now, anyone who is hardworking and committed towards his game and can passionately work on it has several opportunities of becoming the next Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma or Gautam Gambhir.
These youngsters who have usually struck it rich at the IPL mostly belong to middle class families but have made a name for themselves with their sheer hard work and commitment towards the game.
Let’s have a look at the entire IPL saga :
The Indian Premier League scheduled to start in April 2008 would last for 44 days, involving 59 matches.
The prize money for the league would be around ₹ 13 crore (US $3million). Each team would have a pool of 16 players, with a maximum of eight foreign players and a minimum of four under – 22 players.
Additionally, at least four players must be from the catchment area where the team is based.
The governing council consisted of Chairman and Commissioner Mr. Lalit Modi, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, Mr. M.A.K. Pataudi and Mr. Ravi Shastri, Mr. Rajiv Shukla, Mr. Chirayu Amin, Mr. Inderjit Singh Bindra and Mr. Arun Jaidey.
Each team would play the other 7 teams home and away, the top four teams at the end of the group stages would proceed through to the semi finals.
On January 14, 2008, it was announced that a consortium consisting of India’s Sony Television network and Singapore based World Sports Group secured the rights of the Indian Premier League.
The record deal has a duration of ten years at a cost of US$1,026 billion. As part of the deal, the consortium would pay the BCCI US$918 million for the telecast rights and US$108 million for the promotion of the tournament.
The BCCI announced that the bulk of the proceeds from this deal would initially go to the IPL franchises themselves, gradually reducing this amount over the life of the contract.
The magnitude of the Indian Premier League was confirmed when the winning bidders for the eight franchises were announced on January 24, 2008. While the total base price for auction was US$400 million, the auction fetched US$723.59 million.
Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. VVS Laxman was also offered icon status but opted to refuse to afford the Hyderabad franchise more financial flexibility.
The use of icon players ensures that top draw players will play only for their respective city sides – a strategy being used to increase fan support and interest amongst locals.
The players were even over-priced with Indian ODI skipper M.S. Dhoni fetching the maximum ₹ 6 crore. 19 – year – old Ishant Sharma will earn more than ₹ 1 lakh per delivery provided that he bowls his entire quota of four overs in each of the maximum possible matches.
One can also earn ₹ 37.5 lakh for one T20 match like M.S. Dhoni who will earn over seventeen times what he gets for every ODI he plays.
One of the very interesting clauses was that of the mandatory requirement of four Under – 21 players along with four cricketers from the ‘catchment’ area.
It is thus, a potential chance of having upto eight locals in the squad. The icons, the other contracted players, the upcoming guys, the under – 19s and the rest would get the chance to showcase their talent in the tournament.
This would mean that even a career as a Ranji cricketer who plays 45 days of IPL is lucrative in true sense of word and comparable to that of the MBAs and Software engineers of the country.
The biggest plus, thus, out of all this is the financial security that IPL would bring to these fringe players, thus enabling them to concentrate wholly and solely on cricket even during their offseasons without having to worry about their careers after cricket.
Prospects of Career in Cricket :
Ours is an age characterised by a tireless quest for financial stability, popularity, distinction and fame, which people from diverse social rungs are motivated to undertake in order to lead happy and prosperous life.
And career options are proliferating everywhere to facilitate their inner zeal and passion with diverse avenues of success.
Cricket, unquestionably the most popular game of the country, offers a highly prospective career option on all counts to a vast pool of unharnessed youth fired with a genuine passion for making both money and name.
The only thing it calls for is your sporting talent and certainly, there is no dearth of institutes run by former veterans and heavy weights where your talent can be recognised, nurtured and developed to the best of advantage for the country and for yourself.
Here, there is no need to burn the midnight oil studying voluminous books, preparing notes and giving lengthy presentations to achieve your dream destination.
It is by your sheer will and talent alone that you can excel any other career option, which can offer you everything you wish to have, from money, publicity, a large fan following and substantial degree of social esteem.
Not surprisingly, most of the distinguished celebrities of cricket, including icons like Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni, had never been outstanding students.
But at a very young age, they decided to become cricketers and their efforts over the years have paid rich dividends culminating in what they are today – icons and idols who are looked up to, emulated and even deified by millions of youngsters across the length and breadth of the country.
Cricket Remuneration :
Cricket as a career provides fulfilment in many senses. A cricketer can earn money not only by playing but also by endorsements, public appearances, etc.
At present every cricketer receives around ₹ 2.60 lakh for per ODI and ₹ 3.5 lakh for per Test.
Besides this, BCCI had also announced the annual contract fees in Mumbai on September 27, 2007, which made the cricketers even more richer.
Cricket Academies in India :
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33 player pool was formed out of which seven players were included in Grade A. The Grade A players including Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan would get ₹ 60 lakh annually.
The Grade B players who would get ₹ 40 lakh annually included V.V.S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Zaffar, S. Sreesanth, Dinesh Kartik, Rudra Pratap Singh and Virender Sehwag.
The seven Grade C players including Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Ramesh Powar, etc., would receive ₹ 25 lakh annually.
The newly formed Grade D included players having played 15 ODIs or five Tests and they would be on a contractual period of 12 months (October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008) where they would get ₹ 15 lakh each.
The eleven Grade D Players included Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, etc. The players also receive ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Series’ Awards which also amounts to a good number.
Besides playing for the nation, the cricketers also endorse many products. These endorsements help them to earn both name and fame.
Thus, being a cricketer is no less than being a businessman with a big bank balance coupled with lot of popularity and respect in the society.
So, after going through all the details given above, it can be concluded that sports now – a – days is not only an extra – curricular activity rather can be taken as viable career option.
The need of the hour is to tap the talent at the right time, nurture it and let the talented flower bloom.
The kids should be given enough freedom to choose their choice of game and then improve the skills to be the next Ishant Sharma or M.S. Dhoni. So, if you are sporting enough and are ready to put in the best of your efforts, cricket is the right career for you.
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