On Wednesday, following media reports, including in the
, that the Mohali team had had some of their (lesser-known) players move out of the five-star hotel they were housed in and into another, less plush hotel in order to accommodate franchisee guests. But Neil Maxwell, the Mohali team CEO, said he couldn’t understand the fuss. “I could stay under the table to play alongside some of the best in the world.”
Maxwell said that the Mohali team had the largest pool of players and had had so many so as to give local players the best possible exposure. He said the fact that they had kept the whole pool in town, even though they could have asked those not in the squad itself to go home, was an indication of their generosity.
The reasoning behind the HT report on Wednesday, was that once in a squad (or pool as the case might be), every player deserved the same perks and comforts. After all, they were picked to play for the same team.
And while Mohali do have the largest pool (28 players), it’s not by much. Every franchisee has players much in excess of the minimum 16-member squad, and from everything HT has learnt, every other franchisee is treating its players, squad members or reserves, the same way, at least when it comes to hotels.
Mumbai have a pool of 27 and while local players have the option of going home, they are all lodged together at the ITC Grand Central in Parel. Kolkata’s 24 stay together at the ITC Sonar Bangla. Ditto in Delhi, where the players are all put up at the Intercontinental.
While any and all developmental work being done by the team owners for local players to help them learn from top quality coaches and international players should be appreciated and encouraged, it should be mentioned here that most franchisees have no choice but to have large pools.
Most teams, including Mohali, will be without some foreign players at various stages because of the players’ national commitments.
Maxwell, incidentally, also pointed out that Mumbai, despite having a player of the stature of Sachin Tendulkar in their ranks, would be staying at (the not-so-swank) Shivalik View when they visit Chandigarh, implying it shouldn’t have been an issue if some players had to stay at another hotel.
We think he’s missed the point. The question raised was shouldn’t players in one unit be treated the same? And, more importantly, how fair is it to ask your player to vacate a room to accommodate your personal guests?
Granted, it’s a private deal, so maybe things work differently. But we were just asking.