It can be assumed that Rahul Dravid doesn’t take anything for granted since he has twice declined doctorates that were being conferred on him by two different universities in Karnataka. Dravid believed in earning the honour.
No surprise then that Dravid recently asked the BCCI to halve the monetary reward he was being allotted for helping India win the Under-19 World Cup. To celebrate the victory, the BCCI, at the behest of the Committee of Administrators (COA), decided to give Dravid, the Under-19 coach, INR 50 lakhs while granting the players INR 30 lakhs each, and the support staff members INR 20 lakhs each.
Once the garlands and bouquets were binned and the celebratory noise died, Dravid quietly contacted the BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri and informed him that as a matter of principle, he would not want any more than the players or the support staff members, who had played an equal role in India winning the title.
In fact, Dravid expressed his disagreement over the BCCI’s decision on the day India beat Australia in the final to win the Under-19 World Cup. ESPNcricinfo understands Dravid informed Ratnakar Shetty, incharge of women’s and Under-19 cricket at the BCCI, of his displeasure, saying the board could not hold him over the rest of the coaching staff.
The CoA chief Vinod Rai confirmed that Dravid’s request was accepted at a meeting in Mumbai this week. Although the BCCI is yet to communicate the decision officially to the Under-19 support staff, they are set to receive the same amount as Dravid: INR 25 lakhs each. “He felt that all the support staff should be adequately compensated, too. So he gave a viewpoint,” Rai told ESPNcricinfo. “He (Dravid) said you can reduce my [reward] but pay the players and other people, too.”
In the past, whenever India have won global tournaments, the BCCI has paid the players more than the coach. This was the first time the coach was getting nearly double that of the players. According to Rai, the decision to pay Dravid more was because of his seniority. “Our logic was since he is a senior official and he has been involved with the team [for a long time], so we can’t equate him with the junior players. But he talked about principle and so we have acceded to his request and accepted his proposal.”
According to Rai, Dravid had submitted a “list” of coaching staff who were assisting him in the lead-up to the World Cup and ought to have been compensated in addition to the coaching bench that assisted him during the tournament. Along with Dravid, the support staff that was involved in the Under-19 campaign comprised Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), Abhay Sharma (fielding coach), Yogesh Parmar (physiotherapist), Anand Date (trainer), Mangesh Gaikwad (masseur) and Devraj Raut (video analyst).
During his meeting with Johri upon returning from New Zealand, Dravid said the preparations for the World Cup had started early last year, including the tour of England. According to the Indian Express, Dravid had listed the following people saying that they should also be rewarded for their contributions: former Indian opener WV Raman, who was the head coach of the Indian Under-19 team on the tour of England last summer, Amogh Pandit (trainer), Rajesh Savant (another trainer who died on Under-19 duty last year), Manuj Sharma and Sumeet Malahapurkar (logistics managers). It is not clear yet what amount Raman and others, who were not in New Zealand, would get. Dravid had asked the BCCI to work it out themselves without giving any set figure.