The Orissa Ranji Trophy team that became the first to be relegated to the Plate division this season have had their wings clipped. Literally.
As a punitive measure for their poor display, after they got just two points from six games, the state cricket association has decided to bar the team from travelling by flight from the next season. “They got all the facilities and still couldn't put up a face-saving performance,” said Ashirbad Behera, the secretary of the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA).
“So we have decided to take the rights of flying away from them. From next season, they’ll be travelling by train,” an upset Behera told HT on Saturday, a day after Orissa were upstaged by Railways on the basis of the first-innings lead. Orissa are the only team to have less than five points in the Super League.
The OCA has also requested the BCCI to allow it to change the mode of payment to players. “We've been thinking of bringing in a graded system, just like the BCCI has for its top cricketers. There are some who do worse than the others but are still paid the same amount,” Behera added.
If OCA manages to change the system, it will become the first state unit to introduce a graded payment system. As of now, Ranji players get match fees and the non-playing members receive half the amount.
Orissa began the season on the wrong foot and it has been downhill since then. Former Aussie batsman Michael Bevan was roped in as coach but went home due to his daughter's illness and never returned.
Skipper Haladhar Das was banned for a game for turning up drunk on the eve of their tie against Punjab.