Four stalwarts left out of BCCI list

Four stalwarts left out of BCCI list

Viswanath, Kirmani, Vengsarkar and Amarnath miss out on benefit scheme

After the gaffe where it left out the widows of former cricketers from its one-time benefit scheme, the Board of Control for Cricket in India may have blundered by excluding four Indian greats from its list of beneficiaries.   

The BCCI’s much-appreciated gesture doesn’t benefit stalwarts such as GR Viswanath, Syed Kirmani, Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohinder Amarnath — the reason being that all these players have been recipients of the BCCI-organised benefit matches at various stages of their post-retirement life.

It’s indeed deplorable that on one hand the Board shows great generosity by extending such significant financial help to many former cricketers and on the other it paints itself in a petty state by leaving out the four giants just because they have already received some sort of incentive.

Though the BCCI’s decision to reward the former cricketers arises from the fact that they have not been able to organise any benefit match in over a decade, the four have every reason to feel slighted by their exclusion.

While there might be some merit in BCCI’s logic, it should have also taken into consideration the disparity in benefit between the four and those who have been included in the scheme. Going by the criteria applied by the Board, Vengsarkar and Kirmani will lose out on Rs 1.5 crore each while Viswanath misses out on Rs 1 crore. Amarnath stands to lose Rs 75 lakh.

Given the credentials of the cricketers in question, not a single soul is going to grudge if they were to be included in the list of beneficiaries. Of the four, two have led India (Viswanath and Vengsarkar) while three of them have been part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad (Amarnath, Vengsarkar and Kirmani). Any common follower of the game in the country knows that money isn’t an issue for the Board, so why leave a bad taste when the move itself has generated a feeling of good will all around?  

The BCCI did make amends by extending the benefit to widows of former cricketers Vinoo Mankad, Eknath Solkar, Ramakant Desai and Kripal Singh. Surely, there is no shame in correcting themselves once again.

Meanwhile, it’s learnt that another former India captain Kapil Dev and former stumper Kiran More were left out of the list because they still haven’t severed their links with the now-defunct rebel Indian Cricket League. A source in the Board also pointed out that the duo is also fighting a case in the court against the BCCI.

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