Who says you can't buy success, or at least attempt to? Stung by the lacklustre defence of their Ranji Trophy title last season, and the relegation of the U-22 team, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has decided to splurge cash in an attempt to 'enhance' Delhi's chances of regaining top honours come the next domestic season.
The DDCA were keen on hiring South African Jonty Rhodes for a short 'fielding clinic' but Rhodes's wage demands proved a stumbling block.
According to top-level DDCA sources, Rhodes demanded Rs 1 lakh per day, plus five-star accommodation and food, forcing a rethink on the judgement of the decision. “We have stalled negotiations with Rhodes as of now,” said a DDCA executive committee member. “While we would have loved for our boys to learn the nuances of ground fielding, catching and throwing from the best fielder of all-time, his demands were a little too much.”
While the Rhodes move didn't materialise, the might of DDCA’s chequebook was on show yet again as they decided to shell out a whopping Rs 70,000 per day for a 10-12 day fast bowlers' clinic by former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram. After the less-than-impressive performance of Delhi's pacers last season, Akram, who conducted a three-day clinic last season, has been contracted for a longer period this time around.
This is not the first time the DDCA has decided to take the expensive route to success. Terry Jenner, Shane Warne's mentor, was in town before the season started, overseeing a leg-spinners' clinic at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The Jenner experience, which did not impress the players much, cost the DDCA Rs 70,000 a day plus accommodation.
So, do these short clinics actually help the players?
“It sounds great, a chance to learn from the man who taught Warne. But there were almost 50 boys trying to catch Jenner’s attention. Half the boys couldn't even understand a word he said,” said a Delhi Ranji Trophy cricketer. “But then, for the DDCA it’s great publicity, and that's what matters in the end.”