The coach of the World Cup-winning India U-19 team, Rahul Dravid, has questioned the fairness of the support staff and the players getting smaller rewards than him, according to a report in The Indian Express.
The Prithvi Shaw-led India beat Australia by eight wickets in the U-19 World Cup final on Saturday to win the coveted age-group tournament for a record fourth time, and was a personal milestone for Dravid, who had come close to winning the crown with the U-19 team in 2016 too, but saw India falter at the last hurdle at that time.
The Indian batting legend is widely being considered one of the prime reasons for the success of the India juniors, and the BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA) had announced on 3 February a cash reward of Rs 50 lakh for Dravid, Rs 20 lakh each for the support staff members and Rs 30 lakh for each player, creating a strange situation, with the actual performers on the field getting far lesser than their mentor.
“It’s a bit embarrassing at times because I tend to get a lot of attention and focus, but it is really about the support staff and the quality of people that we’ve had," Dravid said at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday after the Indian team returned home with the U-19 World Cup. "I don’t want to mention names but everyone in the support staff has put in a great effort. We do the best for the kids," the India great added.
The Express report added that Dravid reportedly wanted the entire support staff, comprising bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, fielding coach Abhay Sharma, physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar, trainer Anand Date, masseur Mangesh Gaikwad and video analyst Devraj Raut, and indeed himself, to be rewarded evenly, emphasising the role played by all of them in the build-up to the World Cup and during India's campaign in New Zealand. Nothing less could have been expected of a thorough gentleman like him, who has always been averse to availing of special favours.
One might remember that Dravid was at the centre of a conflict of interest issue at the start of his tenure as the India U-19 and India A coach, as he had an Indian Premier League (IPL) coaching contract with the Delhi Daredevils.
He, however, chose national duty over the lucrative IPL contract. He gets Rs 4 crore a year, for a three-year agreement with the India U-19 and A teams.