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Why tax breaks and cash awards for cricketers?

Last updated on: April 5, 2011 12:10 IST

Why tax breaks and cash awards for cricketers?

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Business Standard

The Indian cricket team deserves all the accolades, the love and affection, the wild enthusiasm and all the money it made for winning the World Cup for the country.

This was a historic and well-deserved victory for, clearly, one of the world's best cricket teams.

The dancing and revelry across the country showed that the entire nation rejoiced together and felt a shared sense of pride in this great victory.

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team played brilliantly in the finals against an equally good team from Sri Lanka.

Dhoni has shown exemplary maturity in the style of his captaincy.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni has always shown maturity.
Photographs: Reuters
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Why tax breaks and cash awards for cricketers?

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Cricket has become a sport of prima donnas and with all-time greats like Sachin Tendulkar playing, and playing well, it would have been difficult for Dhoni to provide the kind of leadership he did.

His low-key response to the exciting victory says it all.

The players, their coaches and selectors have all been adequately rewarded not just in kind but also in cash.

In any case, India's cricket players are the richest among the country's sportspersons, given the money in the sport, the sponsorships and the advertisement budgets.

The glistening diamonds worn by the wives of Indian cricketers, and their fancy cars, tell a tale of adequate recompense.

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Image: Sachin Tendulkar is still playing well.
Photographs: Reuters
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Why tax breaks and cash awards for cricketers?

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So why did the taxpayer have to shell out more cash, in the form of cash awards from state governments and a tax break from the central government?

There are games sportspersons play to win and there are games they play to make money.

The Indian Premier League is a money-making enterprise.

But a World Cup match is about winning for the country. It is the kind of achievement that finds recompense in the form of a Padma Shri or a Padma Bhushan award.

But tax breaks and cash awards from the government are an unnecessary indulgence.

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Image: IPL is a money-making enterprise.
Photographs: Reuters
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Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi has resisted the cash award idea; instead, he has so far restricted himself to giving the Eklavya award.

Some of India's world-class sportspersons deserve financial support given the lack of adequate investment and the absence of a mass market in their respective sports.
Cricket is certainly not one of them.

The market is doing a good job, and the government, too, has done a good, indeed an excellent, job in ensuring security and safety of the players and the huge audience.

The arrangements and the law and order management, both in Mohali and Mumbai, were excellent. Terrorists who may have aimed to disrupt, stayed away.

Having done the job it must, and that too well, the government need not have tried to ingratiate itself with the players with more cash.


Image: Narendra Modi has resisted the cash award idea.
Photographs: Reuters
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