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‘Sponsorship for team benefits all’

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2007 02:02 IST
Highlight Story

The newly appointed manager of the Indian team, Ravi Shastri, believes he has the experience to put Indian cricket back on track. "If you look at the state of Indian cricket at the moment, I thought it was a good time to put your hand up and asked to be counted," Shastri told a private news channel in an interview.

For over a decade, Ravi Shastri rendered service to Indian cricket in many ways. As an obdurate opening or middle-order batsman; as a left-arm spinner who was an integral part of the attack; and as long-time deputy to a couple of captains. "You need to look at youth. There is a shelf period for everything. I believe if the young guns have to be given a chance, that has to happen on the tour to Bangladesh. I think, it would be the right opportunity to test young talent," Shastri added.

The Indian cricket board on Saturday came down heavily on players following the World Cup disaster, restricting their income from advertisements, and announcing that the national selection committees would be reconstituted with 'full-time' selectors from next year.

"In my time, I used to earn around $200 per game. But today the money is great. We need to understand that cricket is a team sport. Sponsors should be coming to the team and not individuals. When sponsors go to individual players, the deals prove beneficial to that player only. But if they come to the team, it would ... also will also help strike the right balance. Having said that, the BCCI also needs to be transparent in its dealings with sponsors. It should let not only the players but everyone know how much of the money they make actually goes back to the game," he said.

Shastri said he understood the matter. "I have been a part of the media for 14 years, apart from my association with the game as a cricketer. I believe my experience will be useful for the team," he said.

He also said the Cup debacle did not make the Indian team bad overnight. "I make no promises. I want India to play happily. I would prefer one step at a time. I am an optimist and like to concentrate only on the positives. I am very clear that I am here only for a couple of months. Meanwhile, the Board can think of some alternatives. The support staff for the tour of England would do the rest," he said.

Asked whether youngsters were losing focus, Shastri said, "They are all very young. The BCCI should educate players so that they don't lose focus." He also added he would like to see a united team and would like to sort out rift, if any, amongst the seniors and the juniors in the team.