CSK 1st franchise to help Martin’s family; BCCI stuck on Rs 5 lakh
Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the Board of Control for Cricket in India, have taken the art of being insensitive to a wholly new level.
On Tuesday, chairman Rai and Diana announced a Rs 20-lakh bonus for each of the five members of the senior selection committee for the historic double by Virat Kohli and his men on the just-ended tour of Australia.
India won the Test and the ODI series there for the very first time.
Bonuses for the players and the support staff were perfectly in order, but why also the already-highly-paid selectors — M.S.K. Prasad, Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh, Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjpe?
That too at a time the Board has only sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from the Benevolent Fund to Jacob Martin, who is battling for life in a Vadodara hospital. He played 10 ODIs between September 1999-October 2001.
Thanks to a hefty raise by the CoA, chief selector Prasad gets Rs 1 crore annually, while each of his four colleagues takes home marginally less, Rs 90 lakh.
When there’s no system in place to penalise the selectors if the team fares badly, what is the logic for handing out a bonus?
Moreover, Rai and Diana have forgotten that, for a significant period of their tenure, Khoda and Paranjpe had actually not even been functioning as selectors!
Khoda and Paranjpe were restored to their positions after the Supreme Court passed an order to that effect last August.
“I have nothing against the selectors, but I have grave doubts over the CoA having the power to award such a handsome bonus. Besides, the selectors in any case get fat pay packets, then why this bonus?
“Contrast that with the wife of an India cricketer having to appeal to the Board for funds. I have to appeal to friends on the same subject. Would you call it fair?
“After all, the selectors are simply doing their job...
“The Board has to seriously and quickly look at setting up a corpus fund to meet such emergencies as Martin’s accident and hospitalisation,” former Board secretary Sanjay Patel told The Telegraph in the evening, just before leaving for the hospital.
Later, Patel said: “Martin is recovering, but still on the ventilator. The functioning of his lungs isn’t satisfactory. Let’s see what tomorrow (Wednesday) holds.”
Meanwhile, in a wonderful gesture, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have decided to send a cheque of Rs 3 lakh to Martin’s wife, Khayati.
That had been preceded by a conversation between Narayanswami Srinivasan and Patel. Srinivasan, who once ruled world cricket, is an unofficial mentor to the reigning IPL champions.
“I have been in touch with Sanjay, who is coordinating the entire exercise, and had a talk with Jacob’s wife as well...
“This is the time for the fraternity to stand together and lend Jacob a helping hand. We, at CSK, felt the lead had to be taken by us where IPL franchises are concerned...
“Let’s hope Jacob’s recovery gets expedited,” Kasi Viswanathan, CEO of CSK, stated in a chat with this Reporter.
Clearly, now that CSK has shown the way, other IPL franchises may follow. They should.