Thursday, February 14, 2008

Should we start a benefit fund for Kapil Dev?

Poor ol’ Kapil Dev – and the stress is on the “poor”. He must be living in penury. Could there be any other reason why he would beg for his pension with this pathetic, tug-at-your-heartstrings statement: The only way of earning a livelihood for us retired cricketers is through the game and the board cannot... deprive us of the benefits.” How can anybody blame the man for wanting his BCCI pension while – presumably – still earning money for being on the executive board of the ICL? Don’t they understand that this ex-cricketer, who did so much for cricket and his country, needs money from all possible avenues to maintain his privileged lifestyle, since he is retired from the game? How hard hearted of the BCCI, how unsympathetic and mean-spirited!

Seriously, doesn’t the man have any dignity? He makes it sound as if without the pension, he would be living in abject poverty. It might be a possibility for lesser cricketers, those who didn’t earn undying glory and untold wealth at the international levels, but we’re not – and HE’S not – talking about them and the BCCI, are we? Considering his years in the game as top cat, of sponsorships and truly dreadful TV ads, for all of which he would have been paid extremely well, he and at least 5 future generations should be well set up financially. (Unless he’s been living a profligate life with much disastrous gambling involved?)

It’s one thing for him to fight for his position as head of the National Cricket Academy where presumably he could be doing some good… but quite another to bewail his lost pension. Doesn’t greed have any limits?

Am I being unfair to him? Missing anything that might justify that preposterous statement? Somebody enlighten me.

Edited to add: I've been enlightened... and with enlightenment comes the realisation that I've been unfair. Sorry, Kapil ol' pal.


meerkat said...

yes you are being very unfair. he was a great cricketer possibly the greatest ever cricketer in indian history. he pretty much carried the indian attack on his shoulders in the 80s. so he deserves a pension.

he many not be living in poverty now. but how can anyone just withdraw a pension (which by definition is remuneration based on services previously rendered) arbitrarily. it is a matter of principle. why should he not get a pension which he rightfully earned . sacking him is fair enough but the pension should be given to him because he more than most has definitely earned it.

also dont forget inflation. what you earned in the 80s in india could be peanuts now unless you have been a shrewd investor. his media career is not much to talk about because he is not gifted in the gab.

Anonymous said...

Meera: Ok, I did think about it while writing this post - that a pension is for services rendered... but his statement (or that part of it which was quoted) just seemed a little OTT to me. Still, I might have to concede that you're right and I was unfair. I used to like the guy, in those far-off days when cricket didnt make me sick! :)

- shyam

meerkat said...

hey, you are very fair normally. so it is ok for kapil to take a bit of stick from you. still he is one of the better ones. certainly worked hard and had a lot of talent.

why does cricket make you sick? there is more money in the sport, but when the board is earning so much money from TV, then it is only right that the cricketers earn a lot of wonga.

it is a cash cow and they are definitely milking it for all it is worth. a bit like the football in this country.


Anonymous said...

Cricket makes me sick because it's all money all the time and not the game itself (it's also why I dont watch football). It started with Azhar and went downhill from there. I sneak a peek if India's playing Pakistan in one-dayers, but otherwise dont bother overmuch :) Maybe watching cricket in India might enthuse me a bit more, just because of the sheer craze there, but I doubt it rather.

- Shyam

meerkat said...

i like watching cricket here on TV mainly because there are less ads, less roll on adds which are shown on top of the picture and take up a third of the screen.

been infrequently to some of the top grounds here and it has always been very pleasant and lovely especially when there is a test match on.

they just play too much cricket and far too one day cricket.


Anonymous said...

Maybe its too late to leave a comment here, also I dont want to interrupt the conversation the two of you seem to be having...anyhoo here's my two bit. Reading this post reminded me of something Rajini says in the movie 'Yejaman'- something about 'unnoothvanga mariyadhai naan thatti parikka mataen, yennakku vanda mariyadhai naan vittu kodukka mataen'. Thunderous applause, whistles, claps please. I think Kapil is right in fighting for what is rightfully his. Priya

Shyam said...

Priya: I've come round to that opinion too.