The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to reward former cricketers from surplus funds earned through the healthy Indian Premier League is a move that deserves more than just a dollop of praise.
BCCI chief N Srinivasan is following in the footsteps of former presidents Jagmohan Dalmiya, Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar, who, over the years, supported decisions that would benefit erstwhile stars.
Never in their wildest dreams did these former Test and first-class players with long careers imagine that they would receive amounts ranging from Rs 25 lakh to a crore.
However, the Board has yet to decide whether the wives of departed cricketers should avail of this benevolence. In any case, widows are part of the BCCI pension scheme, so it seems only fair that they benefit from the latest rewards that were announced after the Board’s working committee meeting in Chennai on Saturday.
The role of spouses can never be underestimated in a sporting career. Cricket tours are long, and to be without a helping hand at home from their husbands can be difficult to cope with. Wives also have to put up with failures which their husbands endure and play the role of soothing balm.
The BCCI has been understanding and caring for the needs of their players who have contributed in no small measure to India, being the epicentre of world cricket. While India’s administrators are criticised the world over for their arrogance, what people forget often is that most of them are at their jobs.
All the administrators have to do is, sit down once again and make a list of the cricketing widows and they’ll discover the list will not be long. To use a cricketing term, they need to clean up the tail to take the honours in this match.