BCCI’s payout has ex-players in tears of joy

first_imgWhen the news of a one-time BCCI benefit purse of Rs 20 lakh, to be distributed to retired cricketers, was broken to former Punjab and Uttar Pradesh fast bowler Ubaid Kamal on Thursday, he broke down and disconnected the line. The tears were of joy.Kamal, who bagged 178 wickets between 1990 and 2000, was only doing a Nirupama Mankad, wife of ex-Test batsman Ashok. She had disclosed to MAILTODAY in May 2012 that she wept on hearing the news that the BCCI would extend the benefit purse to widows. Ubaid, now 41, soon recovered and returned the call. “I was expecting that the Board would give us Rs 10 lakh each. So when I heard that the amount was Rs  20 lakh, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I thank the Board for thinking about players who retired before good money, and the IPL, came in,” the Allahabad bowler-turnedcoach told MAIL TODAY. Ubaid said he would invest all the money – it’s expected that players would only receive Rs 14 lakh after tax deduction – on an academy he’s setting up in Barabanki, a few kilometres from the ancestral home of hockey legend KD Singh ‘Babu’. “I want to produce fast bowlers for India,” he said.The BCCI’s finance committee on Wednesday approved the proposal for this one-time benefit purse, having given in 2012 heftier purses to all Test players and also to those who had played 75 or more firstclass matches. The present slab is between 50 and 74 matches, the only condition being they should have retired by the 2033-04 home season. The finance committee’s recommendation will now go to the working committee for final approval. “About 50-60 players will benefit under this scheme,” said a source.advertisementAmong those who qualified include Madhya Pradesh players Sanjay Jagdale, who as BCCI secretary had suggested to president N. Srinivasan to include Ranji players too in the one-time benefit scheme, and late Syed Mushtaq Ali’s son Gulrez Ali, Haryana all-rounder Dhanraj Singh, Narendra Menon, and Punjab wicketkeeper Arun Sharma.Dhanraj, too, got emotional, but is clear where he would use the money. “I got my daughter married recently. I had taken some loan for her wedding, and this amount would help me pay back the loan,” Dhanraj, who was part of Haryana’s only Ranji Trophy title triumph in 1990-91, told MAIL TODAY. “I’m grateful to the BCCI for this gesture. At the same time, I’d request them to slightly enhance our monthly gratis,” said the man who played 51 matches from 1990-1999. Gulrez, who played 74 matches, said: “We played tough cricket in the days when remuneration was very small. The number of matches was also less in those days, so playing 74 game is no joke.”last_img

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