Bishan Singh Bedi cricisised MS Dhoni for being inaccessible off the field © Getty Images
New Delhi: Jan 21, 2014
Former India cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi on Tuesday alleged bias in Board of Control for Cricket in India‘s (BCCI) remuneration policy and questioned skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s cult status. Bedi said logic defies the difference in salary of some of the cricketers.
“Can you compare Cheteshwar Pujara and Suresh Raina? If you can’t compare, then how can Raina be in Group A of BCCI’s central contract while Pujara is in Group B,” Bedi said.
When asked if it was because Raina is close to BCCI President N Srinivasan, Bedi said, “that’s it”.
Cricketers, who fall in Group A in BCCI’s central contract get an annual retainership of Rs one crore while Group B players get Rs 50 lakh.
The legendary spinner was speaking at the launch of senior journalist Shantanu Guha Roy’s book, ‘Mahi – story of India’s most successful captain’.
Talking about Dhoni, he said,”I am not a big fan of Dhoni but I must surely say that no one has ever enjoyed so much of power and authority from the cricket body. I believe that not even the great Tiger Pataudi [Manssor Ali Khan] or Sunil Gavaskar had ever enjoyed this kind of power.”
Bedi also questioned Dhoni’s off-field leadership skills.
“As a leader, he’s not accessible to his teammates. This has been said by his teammate, none other than VVS Laxman,” he said in reference to Laxman, at time of his retirement, going on record to say that it was difficult to reach Dhoni some times.
Bedi said that money at times takes away the fun from the game.
“You tell me some people get a crore for not playing a single match. In our times we use to get Rupees 250 per Test match at Rupeess 50 per day. We beat New Zealand in four days and we were given Rupees 200 because there was no play on fifth day,” he said.