Hirwani speaks for mates | india | Hindustan Times
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Hirwani speaks for mates

From a small-town boy in Gorakhpur to becoming record holder as the highest wicket-taker for India in a single Test, Narendra Hirwani has seen it all.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 09:12 IST

From a small-town boy in Gorakhpur to becoming record holder as the highest wicket-taker for India in a single Test, Narendra Hirwani has seen it all. As the leg-spinner plays in his last first-class season ( 22nd), the 37-year-old is still passionate about cricket. Hirwani said the BCCI's attitude towards domestic cricket is changing.

"Even the Board will accept that they have ignored domestic cricket and cricketers for a long time," he said. But he went on to add: "It's changing in the last few years. The domestic cricketers are being paid some attention, both in terms of playing conditions and monetary benefits.I would day better late than never."

Hirwani, who took 16 wickets against the West Indies on his Test debut in 1987-88, said the money rewards for Indian first-class cricketers was still inadequate. "In India, the gap between what cricketers get for internationals and first-class cricket is too much when you compare it with England and Australia.

"A Ranji player is paid Rs 4,000 per match day (Rs 16,000 per match), which is too low as compared to the earnings of the international cricketers. "

Though Hirwani was delighted to know that BCCI has recently announced an additional Rs 50,000 per match to all the players for the 2004-05 season, he was sceptical about its execution.

"It's good that they (BCCI) have made the announcement, but they haven't yet handed over the money to the players. The Board can change its mind any time."

Hirwani also said that the BCCI should have initiated telecast of domestic games long back. "There is no need to reiterate the reach of telecast of matches. And it's very crucial for a young first-class player to get a job, which has become very difficult now."

Emphasising the employment problem, Hirwani said, "The employers expect all the recruits to represent their teams in all the important inter-office tournaments.

However, as prestigious inter-office tournaments clash with the domestic first-class season, a good player prefers to play for his state. So the number of private recruitments have gone down drastically recently."