BCCI never promised Gavaskar to pay Rs 5 crore: Shukla
New Delhi: Senior Cricket Board official Rajiv Shukla on Thursday said that the BCCI had never taken any decision to pay former India captain Sunil Gavaskar Rs five crore per season for media and governing council related activities involving the IPL.
"The concerned people, they told the Working Committee and that no such decision (to pay Gavaskar) was taken in (earlier) Working Committee Meeting or AGM," Shukla said when asked about Gavaskar claiming that he had been promised Rs five crore by the Board.
Asked if the BCCI is not going to pay Gavaskar the money he demanded, Shukla said, "Working Committee or AGM has not taken any such decision, so this question does not arise."
Asked if the matter is closed, Shukla said, "That was what the Working Committee was told about."
The BCCI Working Committee in its meeting on December 12 unanimously shot down Gavaskar`s demand of a whopping USD 1 million fee (Appr 5 crore) per season for media activities involving Indian Premier League.
Shukla also defended the hectic schedule of the Indian team as unavoidable, after senior batsman Rahul Dravid raised the issue during his Sir Donald Bradman Lecture in Australia.
"He is right that the calendar is hectic but it is a compulsion also. Every country wants to play with India and there are certain obligations to fulfil and there are only 365 days in a year," said Shukla, the IPL chief.
"But the BCCI has taken precautions and steps to save the players from getting tired. We have told the players to inform the Board whenever he feels tired and need rest. He will be given rest and replaced by another player. We have been doing that. No player is forced to play," Shukla said.
He said the BCCI is considering taking Test cricket to smaller cities to address the issue low crowd turn-out. "Low turnout of crowd is a global phenomenon but we are concerned of it. We are thinking of taking Test cricket to B grade cities where more people want to watch cricket," he said.