BCCI snub hurts Dilip Vengsarkar
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have bought plenty of goodwill by shelling out around Rs 100 crore as one-time payment to former Indian cricketers who missed out when the game wasn't as rich and monetarily rewarding as it is today, but it seems to have ruffled a few feathers even with its noble intentions.
On Wednesday, it emerged that Kirti Azad, part of India's World Cup-winning team in 1983, won't get the benefit because of speaking out against the Board publicly. Azad joined his World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin, who find themselves out of this benefit - derived from the India Premier League ( IPL) coffers - due to various reasons.
Some other top cricketers too have been kept out of the list of beneficiaries. Former India skipper Dilip Vengsakar, batting star Gundappa Vishwanath, ex-India stumper Syed Kirmani and the gutsy Mohinder Amarnath will not get the booty - which is up to Rs 1.5 crore for cricketers who have played more than 100 Tests for India - because the board says it has already organized benefit matches for them.
This is clearly a weak logic, since the benefit ties for these cricketers were organized at a time when such huge returns from the game were unthinkable. Due to this stand by BCCI, Vengsarkar and Kirmani miss out on Rs 1.5 crore each, Viswanath loses Rs 1 crore and Amarnath will be deprived of Rs 75 lakh.
"It is nice of the board to honour those who have done a yeoman's service to Indian cricket. The BCCI has done a fantastic job here. But when you want to honour people, do it honourably. I hope that they decide to honour everybody and rectify this error," Vengsarkar told TOI on Wednesday.
It is being alleged that most of the cricketers who will benefit from this scheme have had their benefit matches, though these matches were held at a time when it was the cricketer who had to arrange for everything in order to make the maximum out of his benefit tie.
When TOI contacted former India skipper Chandu Borde who received his share of benefit on Tuesday, the ex-India chief selector said, "In earlier days one had to do everything on his own to organize a benefit match for himself, with the board just sanctioning it and agreeing to stage the match."
In 1975, India played a couple of ODIs against the West Indies as benefit games for ex-India skipper Ajit Wadekar. "I requested the Windies team, in which I had many friends, to stay back in India for the games. It was nice of them to have agreed to do so. I had to arrange for the ads, souvenirs and tickets all by myself. Some proceeds went to noted commentator Berry Sarbadhikari too," Wadekar recalled.
From 1992, the board decided to organize benefit matches for the players who had represented India with distinction. Vengsarkar was the first beneficiary of this scheme back in 1995, with Amarnath being the next in 1996. Ironically, Vengsarkar, who could get a benefit tie for himself back then because he had played 100 Tests, can't get the 'benefit' being presently doled out now!
"Those cricketers whose benefit matches have been organized by the board are not included in this list (of beneficiaries). The president made this very clear in his statement. There is no need for any clarification," board secretary Sanjay Jagdale said.
Category 'F' in the list of beneficiaries made out by the board has also caused a lot of heartburn. The ruling that cricketers who have played between one to nine Tests, but only before 1970, will receive Rs 35 lakhs, is being seen as "extremely unjust" by most of the ex-cricketers who played a little later than that, since money came into the game much later.
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