Cash benefit: Miffed Kapil says he doesn’t have to push BCCI to recognise his contribution to Indian cricket

Miffed by Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), former Indian captain Kapil Dev said that he doesn’t have to push the board to recognise his contribution to Indian cricket. Speaking to Times Of India, he said: “If they don’t recognize my contribution to Indian cricket, I don’t have to push them to recognize me. They can invite anyone they want and I have nothing to do with it. I have always played cricket with a positive mindset and don’t intend to be negative at all,” he said.

Sources in the BCCI said that while Kapil would be given a cheque of 1.5 crore for representing India in more than 100 Test matches, he was not invited to the function due to his association with the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Meanwhile Hindustan Times writes that it is no doubt a noble gesture by the BCCI to recognise the contribution of the yesteryear stalwarts but what is surprising is while the BCCI proudly announced the names of 65 former cricketers and four widows who have been invited for the playoffs, they haven't bothered to reveal the full list of beneficiaries. In fact, there was no reason for such stories to be spread, but BCCI’S lack of transparency meant it had to happen. “Some of the beneficiaries have been invited to the playoff venues. They will be presented their cheques before the start of the matches,” BCCI president N Srinivasan said in a statement.

About excluding players like Mohinder Amarnath, GR Viswanath, Syed Kirmani and Dilip Vengsarkar from the list, BCCI said an official ODI has already been staged as a onetime benefit match for each of them. “As for Kapil Dev and Kiran More, since they are already associated with the Essel Group (the nowdefunct ICL'S promoters) and are fighting a legal battle against BCCI, they couldn’t be included,” said a BCCI source.

According to another TOI report when the BCCI released the four lists of invitees, covering the three playoffs and the final, they had made it clear that they had been unable to invite all the beneficiaries but said the cheques would reach all as soon as possible. But the case of the four players is entirely different and as BCCI’s chief administrative officer Prof Ratnakar Shetty clarified, there are no controversies here even though it may have led to heartburns.

“This is a one-time benefit that is being extended to players in lieu of benefit matches that players with 100 or more Tests behind them (or an equivalent number taking ODIs, etc into account),” Prof Shetty told TOI over phone from Mumbai.

“Those four players had been awarded ODIs as benefits (the entire collection from the ODI goes to the beneficiary concerned who also raises additional money by bringing out a souvenir, etc to commemorate the occasion) but for some years now we have been unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Hence our president (N Srinivasan) suggested that we extend this one-time benefit to eligible players. He further suggested that we extend the same to those who have played less then 100 Tests and to first class cricketers who have played long for their states,” added Prof Shetty.