IPL players deserve better pay, says Kapil Dev

Former India captain Kapil Dev sees nothing wrong with the way money is being “showered” on the players in Indian Premier League (IPL) and said the cricketers deserve even better pay.

“What is wrong if sportspersons get more money? If someone is paying Rs 1700 crore just to buy an IPL team and spends just Rs 35 crore on players, is it fair? At least 10 per cent of the money should be spent on players,” Kapil said on Thursday.

“If I had my way I would have ensured that Rs 100 crore was spent on players instead of the now hiked Rs 70 crore,” the legendary all-rounder said when asked for his view on the decision of the IPL governing council to increase the salary cap for players to USD 7 million from USD 5 million.

The cricketer was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the India International Sports Summit here.

Kapil also thinks that crammed schedule for the players was a matter of concern because it results in more injuries.

“As far as injury is concerned its a part of the game. It can happen anywhere. You can’t prevent them. Over-exhaustion of players is the concern of the officials,” he said.

Kapil, who was associated with the now defunct ‘rebel’ Indian Cricket League, said ICL was not successful as it could not survive the might of the BCCI.

“ICL was a private affair while the IPL is the product of BCCI and is approved by the ICC. What can you do when the government overpowers you?”

Kapil also said that he wished good luck to those ICL players who are now playing in the IPL.

Kapil, who was here to deliver a keynote address on ‘Creating Sporting Heroes’, said he considered former South Africa President Nelson Mandela as his icon.

“When I met him I couldn’t believe that he was jailed for 28 years and he pardoned all, once he came out of jail,” he said.

On the performance of Indian team in recent Hockey World Cup, Kapil said he did not expect the team to do well.

“I didn’t expect the hockey team to win. How could they? They have only 15 astro-turfs while Holland, which is the size of a state in our country, has over 250,” he said.

Kapil said there was a need to change the existing sports laws if India was to do well for a long time.

“The constitution of sports needs to be changed. Any official should not be allowed to take control of federations for a long period of time. Even if the Prime Minister sits on the chair for 20 years he will get complacent,” he said.

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