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Pension hike for retired cricketers

March 05, 2006 17:23 IST

Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar announced a monthly pension of Rs 25,000 for retired cricketers.

"The Board," he said, "decided that since its income had touched Rs 1000 crore from Rs 120 crore it should do something for former players who had selflessly laid the foundation stone for the sport. If the player is not alive then his wife would get the pension amount," Pawar told reporters in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Recalling his own experience, Pawar said his father-in-law, who represented the country as a player from the Baroda Cricket Association, drew just Rs 15 for a Test and travelled third class by train.

He said each state cricket association would also stand to earn more from television rights and other means, and this earning could touch Rs 20 crore in the coming days.

"With such high income the associations should pledge to improve the standard of the game and also give better facilities to players so that they remain with the sport, grow with it and can make a living out of it."

Pawar said the BCCI is working in such a manner that those playing international matches would earn in crores while Ranji Trophy players would earn in lakhs.

He also informed that experts from Australia would be brought to Gujarat to inspect and suggest methods to improve cricket pitches across Gujarat, apart from the Motera cricket ground in Ahmedabad.

He added that the BCCI is working towards improving umpiring and player selection standards at the domestic level.

He also urged Gujarat Petroleum Minister Dinsha Patel, who is president of Kheda District Cricket Association, to approach oil companies like Reliance and ONGC and get jobs for cricketers.

"I will try at my end and speak to [Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas] Murli (Deora) but I am sure that Dinshabhai will also put in an effort in this area as it is an important one to secure the future of our players," Pawar said.

Unhappy with the standard of other sports in the country and the poor show at the Olympics, Pawar said the BCCI is considering steps to boost other sports.

"BCCI is a rich sports body and is considering boosting other sports. We will require the help of each state cricket association and other sports bodies to make this possible."