India news May 22, 2012

Kapil Dev likely to miss out on BCCI's benefit payment

Kapil Dev appears to have been left out of the list of former cricketers due to receive the one-time monetary benefit announced by the BCCI for former national and domestic cricketers who retired before the 2003-04 season. While Kapil told ESPNcricinfo he wasn't aware of whether he was on the list or not, the BCCI was not willing to comment or confirm either way.

A report in Tuesday's Indian Express quoted a senior unnamed official as saying that Kapil had been excluded because he had not accepted the amnesty offered by the BCCI following his involvement in the ICL - the now-defunct Twenty20 league that was not recognised by the ICC or the Indian board. "Kapil didn't turn up when the BCCI offered amnesty. He has also not been receiving his pension as he was part of the ICL. We have not considered his name," a senior BCCI official was quoted as telling the paper.

When asked if he and the BCCI were in touch about the payment, Kapil said "no" and that he "didn't know" if he was on the BCCI's list of those who would receive its largesse, totalling Rs 70 crore (US $12.7 million approx), taken from the profits of the IPL 2012 playoffs. Kapil, India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain, would be eligible for a benefit of Rs 1.5 crore ($280,000 approx).

The BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told ESPNcricinfo he "didn't want to speak on the matter". The board's media manager, Devendra Prabhudesai, said the full list was with the board president's office; however, no one in that office was available for comment. It is understood, however, that Kapil's name is not on the list.

In April 2009, the BCCI offered amnesty to Indian players and officials involved with the ICL, giving them an opportunity to return to official cricket - from which they had been banned - if they terminated their contracts with the league within a stipulated deadline. Kapil, who was the ICL chairman at the time, said on Tuesday that he had not heard from the board about the amnesty. "I haven't heard anything from them [BCCI]," Kapil said when asked why he didn't take the ICL amnesty. "They haven't told me anything."

The BCCI hasn't released a full list of players due to receive the payments, only a list of some of them invited to the IPL playoffs where they'll be awarded their cheques; the others, the BCCI said in a release, would be sent their cheques. Kapil's name didn't feature in the list of invitees to the playoffs. The BCCI's one-time payment scheme stands to benefit around 160 cricketers.

Other prominent players* missing from the list include Dilip Vengsarkar, Syed Kirmani, Gundappa Viswanath and Mohinder Amarnath. Of the four, only Vengsarkar has played over 100 Tests. Shetty said the four players were ineligible because they were already given benefit ODI matches in the past, where all the match proceeds go to the said player.

"This is a one-time benefit that is being extended to players in lieu of benefit matches that players with 100 or more Tests (or an equivalent number taking ODIs into account)," Shetty told Times of India.

"Those four players had been awarded ODIs as benefits but for some years now we have been unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Hence the president (N Srinivasan) suggested that we extend this one-time benefit to eligible players. He further suggested that we extend the same to those who have played less then 100 Tests and to first-class cricketers who have played long for their states."

There is reportedly uncertainty surrounding Kirti Azad, the former India allrounder who was part of the World Cup squad in 1983. Last week, Azad went on a hunger strike outside Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla to protest the IPL, following its recent off-field controversies.

"I have not received any intimation from the BCCI so far. Neither has anyone contacted me," Azad told PTI. "The question of acceptance or refusal of payment arises only when they get in touch me. But if they think that they can stop me from raising my voice by doing that, then they are wrong."

* - 0730GMT, May 23, 2012 - The story was updated to include the position of other former players

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

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