KSCA gives pension to former Ranji players

Published: Friday, August 20, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:In an emotion-filled, nostalgic atmosphere, "needy" former Karnataka Ranji Trophy cricketers, including two nonagenarians, were handed their maiden monthly pension by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in a welcome gesture.

At the inaugural disbursement, it was an evening to remember for the past cricketers, many in the twilight zone of their life.

B K Garudachar and Dr K Thimmappaiah, who made their debut during 1934-35 when Ranji Trophy championship was in its infancy, were literally moved.

"I had thought we all had been forgotten. It's a great honour that we were remembered and recognised," said Garudachar, who was captain of the then Mysore state team.

Expressing deep gratitude, Thimmappaiah remarked that it's not the money (pension) that counts; it's the fellowship and goodwill that do. He recalled how the then cricketers used to travel in third class compartments in trains to play Ranji matches and there was no pocket-money also.

KSCA's finance committee selected "needy" 28 past Karnataka Ranji cricketers for the Rs 2000-a-month pension.

KSCA president K M Ramprasad and secretary Brijesh Patel said the pension scheme is the first of its kind by any state cricket association.

KSCA's pension scheme is different from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) one in that it's given only to needy past cricketers of the state, while the latter's is for all former Test cricketers (Rs 5,000 a month).

Former spin ace B S Chandrashekar was among those who honoured the past cricketers.

Ramprasad and Patel said the KSCA may consider enhancing the pension sum in future depending on its financial position.

Those who received their first monthly pension cheque included L T Subbu, C M Varadarajan, S V Rangaraj, K L Mahesh, K S Viswanath and K Vasudeva Murthy and Mir Najam Hussain, all of whom made their debut in the 1950s.

In a touching statement, Hussain said the pension would see him through the latter years of his life as now he had no source of monthly income.

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