Indian women cricketers have made an emotional appeal to the “ ever generous” Indian cricket board to grant them a one-time financial benefit purse, much like the way it has treated male players.
Former India captain Diana Edulji has recently written a detailed letter to former BCCI president Sharad Pawar to request the N Srinivasan- led dispensation to include the 59 international women players for the largesse.
Union agriculture minister Pawar, whose word is believed to still carry weight in the BCCI, has assured Edulji that he would take up the women’s case with the men who matter. “ I spoke to Mr Pawar and then sent him a letter recently, requesting him to help us. He told me ‘ not to worry’ and that it was his ‘ duty’ to take up the issue with the BCCI office bearers,” 56- year- old Eduji, who is on a Mumbai Cricket Association sub- committee, told MAIL TODAY . “ We are not asking crores of rupees to be given to us; our demand is quite justified as many of us didn’t get much money when they played the game many years ago. I have often spent money from my pocket while playing,” said the former left- arm spinner who played 20 Tests and 34 ODIs between 1976 and 1993. “ We’ve no grudges with those who have got the benefit purse.” The BCCI distributed ` 79.66 crore among many first- class and Test players besides a few widows of Test players in May.
As per the proposal, which has the approval and backing of all the women players, the probable beneficiaries could be divided into three categories, in the same matchslabs according to which the BCCI gives out monthly pension to women. The three slabs are: 5- 9 Tests, 10- 19, and 20 and more.
The benefit proposal envisages a ` 10 lakh one- time purse for those who have played between one and nine Tests, ` 20 lakh for players who have appeared in 10 to 19 Tests, and ` 30 lakh for those who have played 20 and more matches.
Like their male counterparts, women also want three One- day Internationals be treated as equivalent to one Test match. In her letter to Pawar, Diana has requested him to use his good offices to speak to BCCI bosses to see that “ women cricketers also benefit from the largesse of the ever generous BCCI”.