Ever since India lifted their fourth Under-19 World Cup on Saturday, coach Rahul Dravid has been at the forefront of most news and social media coverage, sometimes even more than the players. And in the press conference in Mumbai on Monday, there were more questions aimed at him than at winning captain Prithvi Shaw.
While it is understandable because the Indian batting great is the biggest name in the U-19 mix, Dravid himself admitted that it was embarrassing to have so much of the spotlight on him, rather than the players.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India took it a step further when they announced the prize money for the victorious team, with coach Dravid getting Rs 20 lakh more than the players. The BCCI has announced awards of Rs 50 lakh for Dravid, Rs 30 lakh each for the players and Rs 20 lakh each for the support staff including fielding coach Abhya Sharma and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.
However, it has been reported that Dravid is unhappy with this disparity in the allocation of prize money. According to a report in the Indian Express, Dravid has requested that all support staff members be rewarded evenly.
Sources also said that Dravid has mentioned that the entire support staff had worked as a team, and had played an equal and united part in ensuring success in New Zealand, continued the report.
A senior BCCI office-bearer, who was a part of the policy decision, had said that Dravid got a bigger share because he is of a certain stature. “India is known for its guru shishya parampara [A teacher-student hierarchy] and the Guru always gets more. Obviously, the stature of the coach matters a lot,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
It must be noted that this was not the case with Dav Whatmore (2008 India coach) and Bharath Arun (2012 coach). They did not get more money than the Virat Kohli or Unmukt Chand-led teams the last two times India won the World Cup.
After the final on Saturday, Dravid has tried to divert the attention from him to the team. “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. 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,” he had said.
It remains to be seen whether his intervention will change the prize money structure.