Bangalore, May 25: Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani is “disappointed and dejected” and will not “beg and plead” after Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) omitted him for the one-time benefit for former India cricketers during IPL 5 play-off games.
Kirmani, who played 88 Test matches for India, is one of the greatest stumpers the country has seen. However, the 62-year-old has now been ignored by BCCI for the benefit scheme.
Kirmani took 160 catches and effected 38 stumpings. He made his Test debut in 1976 and played his last Test in 1986. He scored 2,759 runs with two centuries and 12 fifties.
BCCI had announced to give one-time cheques for former cricketers during IPL 5. Kirmani would have been eligible for Rs 1 crore. He falls in the 75-99 Tests category. Those who have played more than 100 Tests got Rs 1.5 crore.
“I am disappointed and dejected. There has been no official word from BCCI,” Kirmani told ThatsCricket on Friday. He added: "I am not the one who begs and pleads anyone. If at all my forehead bows, it is only in front of the Almighty."
“What I have been hearing is only through the media. So far, there has been no official communication from the Board,” Kirmani added.
The Bangalore veteran, however, lauded BCCI's efforts for honouring former players.
“It is a magnanimous gesture by BCCI,” Kirmani said.
According to BCCI, those cricketers who got a benefit match were not considered for this payment.
“Those cricketers whose benefit matches have been organised by the board are not included in this list (of beneficiaries). The president made this very clear in his statement. There is no need for any clarification,” board secretary Sanjay Jagdale had said.
Kirmani's benefit game was an ODI between India and New Zealand in 1995 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Talking about that game, Kirmani said it was just the permission which he got from the Board and the rest he had to organise for that match.
“The board gave permission for the benefit match. I had to run around with a begging bowl. I was not allowed to bring out a souvenir on the match day and also the in-stadia advertising hoarding rights were given to somebody else. Do you call this my benefit match? The then Board President Rajsingh Dungarpur fixed Rs 25 lakhs as the guaranteed money for my benefit match,” Kirmani said.
Another India great, GR Viswanath is also missing from the list. Viswanath played 91 Tests for the country and was one of the finest batsmen.
“First, our names, GRV (Viswanath), Mohinder Amarnath and mine were in the list, according to newspaper reports. We were very happy at the time. But suddenly I hear, again through media, that our names are missing. It was a big jolt. I don't know for what reason they had ignored us,” Kirmani questioned.
When asked about Indian Premier League, Kirmani said it was a good platform for domestic players to get recognised.
Kirmani would at least like to hear from BCCI officials as to what is the status on his benefit. A official communication might help Kirmani come out of that disappointment.
Hope BCCI is listening.