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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BCCI largesse to Ex-cricketers but Kapil Dev ignored

IPL – is a treasurehouse and there is millions of money.  First came the news of BCCI having ratified a one-time benefit payment to former national and domestic players, totalling approximately Rs 70 crore ($13 million), for their services to Indian cricket. The decision, first announced at the IPL opening ceremony, was confirmed at the  board's Working Committee meeting in Chennai today.  The money was to be from the proceeds of the IPL playoff games, BCCI president N Srinivasan had earlier said. "This is a small thank you to those who have done yeoman service to Indian cricket. The reports elaborated that the scheme would be  applicable to players who retired before the 2003-04 season,  and would  benefit around 160 cricketers. The payments  reportedly would be  made in seven categories, with the top payments going to players who have played more than 100 Tests. Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar fall under this category, and will receive Rs 1.5 crore ($280,000 approx) each.   Other retired Test players will get between Rs 35 lakhs and Rs 1 crore, depending on the number of games they have played. Domestic players who have played 100 and more first-class games will be awarded Rs 30 lakhs, while those who have played 75-99 first-class matches will get Rs 25 lakh each.

Sure ex-cricketers who played with passion in their hay days but never saw money of this kind that the younger generation is getting IPL were happy on hearing the news.    Later reports indicated that the one-time bonanza would benefit all those played Ranji trophy as well.  Read that BCCI President N Srinivasan will invite 100 ex- cricketers at the awards ceremony of the IPL finals on May 27 in Chennai and hand-over “one-time benefit” cheques to each one of them. Rajiv Shukla, Chairman of the Indian Premier League, MP and Union minister, said the BCCI is perhaps the only sports body in the world which is coming out with a scheme for the welfare of the cricketers and their family members who are not playing games.

His debut on 1st Oct 1978 at Quetta in a ODI changed the face of Indian Cricket and for the first time, those Indian bowlers scurried for a helmet.  He breathed fire  and put fear on the opponents.  The Man,  Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj – the Haryana hurricane, is one of the best all rounders ever.  He graced the Team as a genuine strike bowler, winning matches and playing whirlwind innings.  His contribution to Indian cricket is so immense that it was but natural that Wisden picked  him as the Indian cricketer of the century.  His approach was daring beyond a point as he hit 4 consecutive sixers when 24 were needed to avoid follow-on. 

Indian Cricket Board is replete with Politicians and politics is all but common.  Sad that the greatest all-rounder and former Indian Skipper Kapil Dev continues to be ignored by BCCI – reason, his past involvement with now defunct 'rebel'Indian Cricket League (ICL).   When  the board extended invitation to 65 former cricketers, including Sunil Gavaskar, to hand over cheques as a part of onetime benefit payment, Kapil's name was again missing.   There are reports that Kapil Dev, the 1983 World Cup-winning skipper and Mohammad Azharuddin, at one-time India’s most successful Test skipper — will not benefit from the one-time.  According to the list of players drawn up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under this benefit scheme, the names of the two ex-captains have not been included. While   Azhar exclusion arising out of ban for life for match-fixing is understandable, Kapil paid the price for not accepting amnesty offered by the BCCI to those who were part of the rebel Indian Cricket League.   Incidentally, others including former India wicket-keeper Kiran More, who was part of the ICL but accepted amnesty, will receive the money under the scheme.

It is stated that  BCCI will make the payment in a staggered manner as the expected gate money from the IPL play-offs, which will fund the scheme, is estimated to be between Rs 9-10 crore per season. 1.5 Crores is huge money but when playing for India was the only criterion, the great KAPIL can never be ignored and this is total injustice. 

In an unrelated news, the  BCCI has invited Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf to watch the IPL final to be played in Chennai on May 27. Ashraf confirmed that he received the invitation from the Indian board a few days ago.  The PCB had been pushing for the inclusion of a side from Pakistan, the only major Test-playing nation to not have had teams in the CLT20 since its inception. Sialkot were invited to the inaugural edition of the tournament towards the end of 2008, but it was put off after the terror attacks in Mumbai in November that year.  Those attacks strained political relations between India and Pakistan and, subsequently, bilateral cricketing ties between the two countries were severed. Pakistan players - with the exception of Azhar Mahmood (who also has a British passport) this year - have not been a part of the IPL since.

BCCI is tries to be generous enough Internationally but inside the Country, their petty-mindedness prevails.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


    Best wishes,