The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) disbursed over Rs110 crore to former players in the form of a one-time payment but the present lot of cricketers — domestic and international — is unlikely to feel ignored.
In a move that is bound to please the players, particularly junior and women cricketers, the BCCI has decided to insure them. The beneficiaries will be the U-16, U-19 and U-25 cricketers, besides senior domestic players as well as women.
The U-16 and U-19 players have been insured for Rs 10 lakh each, while the U-25, seniors and women players come under the Rs25 lakh category. The international and centrally-contracted players, of course, have an insurance scheme of Rs2.5 crore each.
The BCCI has asked every state association to send a list of 15 players in each category. And all these players have been put under the central insurance scheme. The scheme has also been extended to match officials and umpires. The BCCI pays close to Rs50 lakh a year as premium and the service has been provided by the National Insurance Company.
“This is a conscious decision to put our players under insurance cover. Earlier, the cover was meant for only seniors but we’ve decided to extend the scheme for age-group, domestic and women players too,” said Ratnakar Shetty, who looks after the board’s cricket development.
The international players, of course, are more blessed. They get heavy insurance cover during ICC events. Although the BCCI officials would not say this in as many words, it can be said with a degree of authority that there has been a perceptible change in the BCCI’s outlook towards players’ welfare since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore a few years ago. No one, of course, would be complaining for the BCCI’s belated awareness.