Brijesh Patel, former Test batsman and chairman of the national selectors, has suggested an important modification to the pension scheme for former Test players announced on April 27 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Patel, an affluent businessman, lauded the scheme, under which all former Test cricketers will be paid a monthly pension of Rs 5,000, and said that it would be a great help to players who require it.
Patel, however, called for making the scheme more focused. "They can give the money to needy cricketers," he said.
"It makes no sense to give Rs 5,000 to, say, 'Tiger' Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, or myself," he explained. "You might as well give Rs 30-40,000 to maybe Salim Durrani, Sadanand Vishwanath, or Eknath Solkar, who really need it. At least this way they can live like Test cricketers."
Patel said the scheme should be based on the income-tax returns filed by the individual. "Giving Rs 40,000 to someone who needs it makes more sense than giving Rs 5,000 to someone who does not," he said.