September 5, 2003

Ailing Ramchand asks for financial assistance from board

Wisden Cricinfo staff

GS Ramchand, the former Indian captain, has been discharged from the Intensive Care Unit of the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai after recovering sufficiently from heart complications. Ramchand had been admitted to the hospital on Monday. Speaking to, Leela Ramchand, GS Ramchand's wife, admitted that while his condition had improved, financial considerations had also played a part in forcing the move from the ICU. "He is still very weak," she said, "but had to be shifted out of the ICU as we cannot afford it."

Leela Ramchand also said that she had approached the BCCI for financial assistance. "I sent a request to Mr Sharad Diwadkar [executive secretary of the BCCI] today [Thursday] requesting for help. I have sent all required medical documents and we hope to get help at the earliest." According to the BCCI's medical scheme, players are entitled to an assistance of Rs 3 lakhs (US$6400 approx).

However, SK Nair, the BCCI secretary, said that the board had not received any request from Ramchand's family. "If the letter comes in, we will give it the highest priority. We will give all the financial assistance that can be provided," Nair said. "Under normal circumstances, it is the finance committee that takes such decisions, but they might not meet for some time. So, as an interim measure, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya can sanction the amount. It may take around 2 to 3 days for the matter to be sorted out.

"The maximum amount for compensation is Rs 3 lakh, but we do make exceptions based on the gravity of the situation. For instance, BS Chandrashekar was allocated Rs 5 lakh."

Ramchand played 33 Tests in the 1950s - of which five of them were as captain - scoring 1180 runs and taking 41 wickets.