In a shocking news of insensitivity, the blind cricketers are being asked to pay 30% of their earnings for a place in the state side for the national cricket tournament for the blind.
It was reported in Mid-Day that players who don't contribute their hard-earned money are in danger of not getting picked for their state teams.
Mumbai-based Anish Baig revealed to Mid-Day that he is not part of the Maharashtra team playing the 24th national cricket tournament for the blind in Mumbai because he did not contribute 20 per cent of his World Cup T20 prize money the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). He was also asked to contribute 10 percent to the Cricket Association for the Blind of Maharashtra (CABM).
Baig won a total of Rs 10 lakh when India beat Pakistan by nine wickets in the final of the World T20 earlier this year in February.
"I want to play for Maharashtra and of course for India again, but since I had not paid a total of 30 percent of my prize money and earnings to the associations, I was not included in the Maharashtra team for this event," said Baig.
Indian all-rounder Ketan Patel was asked to do something similar. “I wanted to play the Nationals in Mumbai, but I have some problems at home. However, I am ready to part with some of my World Cup prize money and earnings," he said.
However, CABM secretary, Ramakant Satam, had a different story to tell.
"He (Baig) is unfit and didn't even attend the selection trials. That's why he is not part of the Maharashtra team for this national tournament," Satam first said, and then changed his stance, putting the blame on Baig for being unreachable. "After the World Cup triumph, we helped him get Rs 15 to Rs 20 lakh, but later on he was not in contact with us. Even though there is a regulation that a player has to give 10 percent (of his prize money) to the state association and 20 percent to the national body, we told him not to give a single rupee to us but continue to play cricket," the secretary further said.
Satam was then contradicted by CABI president GK Mahantesh. While Satam indicated it was mandatory for players to share some of their prize money, Mahantesh said it was up to the players. "The players had a meeting and decided to contribute to their state as well as the national association. I have to check, but I think except Anish and Ketan all others from the World Cup-winning team put in some amount,” he said.
This process of taking money from players is blatant extortion. No one has heard something similar happening to the Indian cricket team. However, the management of blind cricket has no qualms in taking money from people who are already disabled and even that 10% of the amount can matter a lot to them.