Fresh from their triumph in the Blind T20 World Cup and defeating Pakistan in the finals, the Indian Blind Cricket team has turned down a cash prize of INR 10 lakhs announced by Sports Minister Vijay Goel.
Cricket Association for the Blind in India(CABI) President GK Mahantesh clearly stated that they will not accept the sum of money, which is too less for an adequate recognition of the players’ efforts.
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“Our boys are a little disappointed. Last time, when our boys won the World Cup, they got Rs.5 lakh each. So, this time they were expecting more. Hopefully, bigger cash prizes will be announced."
"I don’t know if it is for the team or individual. If it is for the team [cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs], they won’t accept it. They don’t want the cash prize”, Mahantesh was quoted as saying.
He also talked about the sorry plight of the Blind cricketers and blamed BCCI for dual standards.
“The sad part is we are still struggling for resources. The government is yet to give us official recognition. In 2002, when Pakistan won the World Cup, immediately they were recognized."
"That is the kind of speed other countries are working. I don’t know why our government is sleeping on it.”
He concluded, “They should quickly react. It would be great if the government and BCCI react and recognize, embrace and endorse this (CABI). It’s a shame because if they don’t do. Our boys have won four championships in the last four years."
Incidentally, the Indian Blind Cricket team defeated Pakistan by 8 wickets in the final to win the T20 Blind World Cup for the second time.
Image credits: All India Radio News