There is no doubt that players who win a game at the world level deserve to be appreciated and encouraged. But to give huge cash prizes, free I-Class A/C railway passes for life and so on are unreasonable and unwarranted. Has the government forgotten that there are many sporting activities other than cricket that need to be encouraged and made to compete at the global level?
How justified is the announcement of cash rewards by the Delhi government and other State governments, the Railway's offer of free passes to the players, and more? The BCCI reward is justified but anything more than that is superfluous. The money that the governments are poised to give away is that of the taxpayers, and is meant for development.
I, like all other Indians, am happy with Team India's performance, and adore the players. But I think handing out funds meant for development for their extolment is quite over-the-top.
Team India winning the World Cup is, no doubt, a great achievement. The BCCI announced a reward of Rs 1 crore to each member of the team. This is akin to a company paying a bonus to its employees for good performance. But the competition among various States to honour the players is atrocious. Our cricket players are the richest cricketers in the world. Besides the match fee, they make crores from endorsements. Most of them are also into business. Their earning from the IPL is multi-fold.
The money being showered on them can be used for the development of other sports. I wish to add that I have great respect for all our cricket players and their contribution to the game. But the authorities are going overboard.
Indeed, India's victory over Sri Lanka in the World Cup final is praiseworthy. One must congratulate the team, the coach and the selectors for their dedication, commitment and excellent work. But one is dismayed at the prizes being showered on the players.
What is cricket? It is just another game. And how many nations around the world play cricket? Less than 15. Why do we have to shower money running into crores of rupees on just a handful of players while players in other sports — hockey, kabaddi, football — survive on a pittance? Is it not a national shame to ignore our own sports and go after a game of colonial origin played by the so-called elite?
Ninan P. George,
With players being showered with crores of rupees by the BCCI and other sports bodies, and various State governments, I suggest that they start a cricket academy and groom young players. It is a fact that compared to many other teams, we lag behind in fielding, bowling and batting. That we won the World Cup with all these shortcomings is another matter.