After hiking the one-time medical assistance for former 70-plus Mumbai cricketers from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has now also decided to increase their pension from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000.
"The MCA would often get letters from veteran Mumbai cricketers seeking financial help. Several Managing Committee members felt it was also important to hike their monthly pension.
"They (cricketers) have been the real heroes of Mumbai cricket. The proposal was unanimously accepted," MCA treasurer Vinod Deshpande told mid-day
"We also decided to extend the pension benefit to the wives after the cricketers pass away. The terms and conditions will be finalised soon," added Deshpande.
The hike will come into effect from this month itself. According to Deshpande, around 16 cricketers and umpires will benefit from the hike.
Mehli Irani delighted
One of the beneficiaries of MCA's decision is 84-year-old Mehli Irani, who played four first-class matches for Mumbai from 1951 to 1954. "I am very pleased with MCA's decision. I have a variety of problems at this age and I spend around Rs 15,000 on my health every month.
So, Rs 10,000 was definitely falling short. I casually mentioned this to Nadim Memon (Managing Committee member) as he is my friend. A big thank you to the MCA for hiking our pension," said Irani, who figured in the Kanga League for more than 50 seasons.
Mumbai umpires above the age of 70 who have been on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) panel would also be eligible for the hike in pension. Former umpire GK Raman was pleased with the MCA's decision. "It is certainly a good and a well-thought decision," he said from Chennai.