MCA's pension restrictions to hurt former Mumbai players
The minimum eligibility age for pension has been changed from 55 to 58 by the MCA Apex Council.
Retired Mumbai cricketers have been dealt a blow that will pinch their pockets as the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) decided on Thursday to revise their gratis scheme.
The minimum eligibility age for pension has been changed from 55 to 58 by the MCA Apex Council. The MCA has not tinkered with the monthly pension amount though, keeping it to Rs 10,000 (58 to 70 years) and Rs 20,000 (from 71 onwards). All first-class players and umpires, who played/officiated in one to 24 matches up to the end of 2003-04 season, will be eligible.
However, from now on, only those cricketers whose annual income is not more than Rs 5 lakh will be eligible. The cricketers will have to submit their Income Tax returns to prove their annual income, the MCA said in its circular.
According to MCA, the pension is only for "needy cricketers and umpires" and hence the annual income clause.
The Apex Council decided to include former women cricketers in the pension scheme and also extend benefits to the cricketers' spouses after they pass away, which wasn't the case earlier.
It has come to light that only those cricketers based in Mumbai will be eligible for pension. "Mumbai cricketers residing in other states or countries will not be eligible for the gratis scheme," said an MCA official.
The MCA was mulling over restricting the gratis scheme to Mumbai cricketers and not to those who went on to play for other state teams. The Apex Council didn't agree to this and decided to grant pension to all cricketers who represented Mumbai.
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