The Indian support staff now is almost as big as the squad itself. On Tuesday the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India announced they had roped in Ravi Shastri as Anil Kumble's successor for the head coach role along with Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as bowling and batting consultants respectively.
The BCCI's decision helped raise quite a few eyebrows as the need for so many support staff when the team already had Sanjay Bangar as the batting coach and R Sridhar as the fielding coach was debated.
Meanwhile, it seems, we are not done with the appointments yet!
Shastri, who was handed a two-year-contract following his successful interview with the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), reportedly is keen on handpicking his own support staff while being open to the appointments of Dravid and Zaheer as consultants.
The former team director is reportedly particular about getting on board his former assistant, Bharat Arun -- who had worked as the bowling coach from 2014 to 2016 -- and is expected to meet the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Monday regarding the same.
If Arun comes on board, then Team India will have six specialist tacticians, which include newly-appointed support staff -- Shastri, Dravid and Zaheer -- along with Bangar and Sridhar and BCCI's wage budget for the Indian cricket team's star-studded support staff is likely to hit the roof.
Here is how much the BCCI is paying the support staff
Notably, former coach Kumble had expressed reservations about the existing pay structure of the players as well as the coaching staff and had approached the COA in May with detailed presentations on revised structures. Here is a glimpse of the proposed remuneration structure of the support staff, according to PTI.
|Role||Present salary||Kumble's proposal|
|Head coach||Rs 6.5 crore per annum||Rs 7.5 crore per annum|
|Batting coach||Rs 1 crore per annum||Rs 2.25 crore per annum|
|Bowling coach||Rs 1 crore per annum||Rs 1.75 crore per annum|
Also, the BCCI in order to avoid the Conflict of Interest issue, is focussed on giving 12-month contracts to coaching staff working with the national teams.
Notably, U19 and India A coach Dravid's salary was reportedly hiked nearly 100% (From Rs 2.62 crores to Rs 5 crore) after he let go off his responsibility as the mentor of IPL side Delhi Daredevils after bagging a two-year contract extension.
Can the board afford Dravid-like compensation for Zaheer?
It is a well known fact that Zaheer missed out on an opportunity to join the Indian cricket team last year as bowling coach as the BCCI was reportedly not comfortable paying Rs 4 crore, demanded by the left-arm pacer for just 100 days of service in a year.
Shastri is reportedly concerned if Zaheer would be able to be with the team for about 250 days and thus wants Arun, who is expected to work full-time.
However, if Zaheer decides to accept a full-time role, the BCCI will have to compensate him for missing out on IPL action. And that would mean a bigger hole in the governing body's pocket.
"The coaching budget of the board will certainly hit the ceiling, and it doesn't look nice to have major disparity in salaries of the support staff. It will be interesting to see once the contract is rolled out," a top BCCI official told the Times of India.
The report also states that the Supreme-Court appointed COA has put all coaches' contracts on hold. The three-member committee also wants to see the drafts, which were being prepared by the BCCI legal team, first before confirming the contracts.
While doubts were lingering over the exact nature of Zaheer's appointment, BCCI, on Thursday confirmed in a statement that the former India pacer will be working with the team on a tour-to-tour basis.