Surprise award for M.S. Dhoni

Out of turn promotion for Yuvraj, Irfan Pathan

New Delhi: Plaudits and accolades apart, it is raining money on Indian cricketers for their glorious ICC World Twenty20 triumph.

Many State governments have made ‘rich’ promises to ‘honour’ cricketers, who were part of Monday’s unforgettable victory, hailing from their respective states.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced a cash incentive of Rs. 10 lakh each for Ajit Agarkar and Rohit Sharma, both hailing from Mumbai, for playing a part in India’s success.

“Maharashtra is proud of the performance of our boys. They have brought laurels to the state,” he said.

Reward for Joginder

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced a cash reward of Rs. 21 lakh for Joginder Sharma, who would cherish for long his short but very effective bowling spells in the tournament.

“Sharma took the crucial wicket of (Misbah-ul) Haq at such a time when the match could have turned in favour of Pakistan. But Sharma has created history and done the state and the nation proud,” Hooda said in a statement.

Next in line for a cash bonanza is pacer Rudra Pratap Singh, whose performance was instrumental in India’s title run.

Singh would be conferred with the first Manyavar Kanshiramji International Sports Award, which carries a prize money of Rs. 10 lakh, it was announced by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda said he would present a surprise gift to the winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will also be conferred the title of ‘Jharkhand Ratna’ on November 15.

“I have promised a surprise gift for Dhoni and it is proper that I should reveal it before him only. If I reveal now, the surprise element will be lost,” Koda said.

BCCI President Sharad Pawar has already declared an award of $2 million for Team India.

Big one for Yuvraj

Another Rs. 1 crore was announced for flamboyant left-hander Yuvraj Singh for becoming the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in the newest format of the game.

Besides, the tournament prize money of $490,000 has already swelled the players’ purses.

Nothing succeeds like success. The Dhoni-led cricketers have become the ‘darling’ of not only cricket crazy fans but also of the institutions they represent.

Six members of the winning squad, who are employed with national carrier Air India, would be given out of turn promotion,

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters here on Tuesday.

Dhoni, his deputy Yuvraj, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh and Uthappa are the beneficiaries.

Sreesanth misses out

S. Sreesanth was also employed with the Air India, but his contract expired just before the tournament started, Patel said.

“Apart from this, all the 15 members of the winning squad and their family members will also be given additional free travel benefits for five years,” Patel said.

The minister also said that Air India would also promote the women’s cricket team and other sports like hockey and football.

Asked whether Air India would sponsor the Indian cricket team, he said it was already supporting the team. — PTI

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