The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
BCCI neglects former players: Mushtaq
- Legendary batsman feels Sachin is the Kohinoor of cricket

Indore: Legendary cricketer Mushtaq Ali accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of showing an “utter disregard” towards players of his era and said it was high time cricket administrators made a serious effort to ameliorate the plight of these former players.

“The BCCI should think about honouring the players who brought glory to Indian cricket. They don’t bother about us and it’s quite a shame”, Mushtaq said.

Still perfectly fit at 89, Mushtaq said he has never believed in begging for favours from the BCCI but felt it was the duty of the administrators to be a little more sympathetic.

“We were paid only Rs 250 per Test, and there were very few benefit matches at that time,” said Mushtaq, who represented India in 11 Tests and scored 612 runs at 32.21, including two centuries.

“I will have to undergo a cataract surgery in a few months from now and it would help if the BCCI takes care of such expenses,” he said, while insisting that his sons were in financially sound position to meet the expenses.

He also did not appear very happy with the modern-day version of cricket.

“W. G. Grace agar aaj ka cricket dekhte to bechaare ro dete,” Mushtaq said.

“In those days cricket was so tradition-bound that it was seemingly difficult to imagine any change could take place. We didn’t believe that a time would come when something called one-day cricket would dominate the game completely,” he said.

Mushtaq also has strong reservations about the current dress code in one-day cricket. “The kind of (coloured) clothes they don in one-day cricket, they look like jokers,” he said.

But describing Sachin Tendulkar as the “Kohinoor”, he said the maestro’s technical skill and strokeplay has made modern-day cricket worth watching.

“The original Kohinoor may be resting in England but we have our own — Sachin Tendulkar,” he said.

“Sunil Gavaskar got the chance to face better quality bowlers (from West Indies) during his time. But Sachin has never played them. I would have loved to see him play against such great fast bowlers”, he said.

But he opined there was no need to change the Ranji Trophy format.

The idea of appointing a foreign coach was also “beyond my comprehension since there are so many talented coaches in the country”. He cited the example of Sandeep Patil who “worked wonders” with minnows Kenya during the last World Cup.


Email This Page