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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Perform for Paycheck

Indian cricket has been going through a metamorphosis of sorts – good, in terms of rookies getting flavor of international cricket; bad, in terms of on-field performance; and innovative, in terms of the way players’ pay packet is being decided.

More than a year ago, the players were categorized into A, B & C – criteria being their current performance & seniority. And the match fees that each player would earn became a function of the category that they are part of. And now comes another proposal that would tighten the purse strings of BCCI – Performance Based Pay (PBP) system – whereby every player would earn the check basis his individual performance in a particular match.

There has been a sense that’s increasingly voting in favor of this system. Why? Quite simple. There is so much investment that’s taking place in this sport by followers- in terms of time & energy and by corporates – in terms of sponsorships, that a sub-standard performance, like the one in Durban, should call for some kind of penal action.

Thus PBP system would ensure that batters score well and at a decent speed as well. Bowlers would strive to take wickets without being frivolous and fielders & wicketkeepers dive to save runs and take catches.

Apparently it seems little difficult to capture all above on a numerical parameter, but believe me, it’s not too difficult to reward
  • Batters who score above the average score scored in that particular match
  • Batters who have scored at strike rate above that of average strike rate in that match
  • Bowlers whose economy rate is lower than that of the average of that match

So on and so forth, and vice versa penal action for sub-standard performers.

There would certainly be some sections of the society that may not like the very idea of PBP system for cricketers – for they may think that after all it’s a sport. But as every faculty in life gets professional, it needs to get fair & just to all stakeholders. Businessmen work hard for getting that extra percentage of profit & may incur losses for sub-standard product. A salaried person earns his annual bonus basis his year-long performance. So conceptually there seems nothing wrong in weighing cricketers as well by a similar scale.

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