The Indian cricket board, it appears, is likely to break a long partnership soon. The BCCI's professional relationship with cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar could come to an end anytime in April-May when his contract comes up for renewal.
Gavaskar has been a long-standing associate of the board's internally-held production house that hires its own commentators on a full-time basis apart from professionals who are hired by the broadcasters on a series-by-series basis. Sources say the board's rant is that the fee paid to Gavaskar "is astronomical" vis-a-vis the fee for which some others are ready to commentate for the BCCI panel. While other commentators are paid anywhere between Rs 35,000 to Rs 1 lakh per day for their services, Gavaskar was reportedly paid eight times that amount for a day's commentary .
Another sticking point for the BCCI - although some of its officials do not buy it - is that Gavaskar hasn't toed the board's views in his role as commentator. BCCI, meanwhile, has decided to continue with its policy of hiring full-time commentators and another former Mumbai cricketer and Gavaskar's junior, both in terms of playing the game and speaking on it, Sanjay Manjrekar, is likely to be promoted alongside Harsha Bhogle.
It is to be seen whether Gavaskar's long-time colleague Ravi Shastri will be hired by the BCCI full-time going forward or handled with the same gloves as his senior.