‘Thank you, BCCI’

Former players appreciate board’s monetary gesture honouring their contributions

Mumbai 20 May 2012
Indian cricket has a rich and varied heritage, and there are innumerable men who have dedicated the best part of their lives to make Indian cricket what it is. In what has come as a pleasant surprise to them, the BCCI has decided to present over 150 former Test and first-class cricketers with a lump sum in honour of their contributions. This one-time cash benefit scheme of Indian cricket’s parent body will materialise thanks to proceeds from the IPL 2012 playoffs.

We spoke to a few beneficiaries of his gesture from the BCCI, and here’s what they had to say:

A wonderful surprise

S Venkatraghavan (57 Tests)

It’s a noble and a magnanimous gesture on the part of BCCI to recognize the work done by the previous generations, who in their playing time probably didn’t have the benefit of seeing this scenario. The other day, I met Nari Contractor and he told me that he used to get Rs 200-250. In those days, it was a sheer pleasure to wear the Indian cap and play for the country and the money was a secondary issue. BCCI has recognized the fact that the previous generation has done a lot for the country and this gesture is exceptional by the board.

Ajit Wadekar (37 Tests)

We are really thankful to the BCCI. I had spoken to Rajiv Shukla about this and he said it was the president Mr. Srinivasan who took the initiative to pay the ex-cricketers. We are glad that the BCCI is doing this. In this era of inflation and the high cost for everything, this is a great step ahead by the BCCI. In earlier days, there was hardly any money in cricket and we played without even demanding any money. So, we are grateful to the BCCI for appreciating our services to Indian cricket.

A boon for retired cricketers

: All the players in earlier days played cricket and also worked for various companies and must have retired by now. This money will definitely be a great help to them in their post-retirement life. This will go a long way in helping them sustain their old age illness or injuries. Probably BCCI might also think of giving them insurance allowances.

Wadekar: There are plenty of players who will be helped by this. Players like Ajit Pai, Umesh Kulkarni and there are Ranji Trophy players also who have been considered. There is a huge difference between the Ranji Trophy and the Test players when it comes to the amount being paid. These players will be highly benefited by this. Also, at our age, medical expenses also start building up with the cost of living. I would like to thank BCCI for this initiative

IPL proceeds

: IPL is a good thing for the cricket and the present generation of cricketers, and it has sustained the interest of everybody. It is being played at the time when people can relax and watch it in the evening. Everything has a negative aspect in life, but I am sure the BCCI will come out with the proper solution to clear all the allegations on the IPL.
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