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Retired Test umpires deserve better pension figures from the BCCI

Presently, the monetary sum allotted as pension for umpires who retired before 200 stands is Rs 22,500.

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary attends a media session. (Photo Source: Twitter)
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary attends a media session. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When it comes to the game of cricket, we often tend to overlook the finer contributions to the sport on a daily basis as we’re bedazzled by the glitz and glamour of the extremely talented athletes on the field. However, it would be safe to say that the game maintains it’s gentleman status due to the efforts of the men who stand there right through and officiate the matches; the Umpires. When it comes to Indian cricket many feel that these dedicated overseers of the game deserve better facilities and at the least, a pension hike from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Presently, the monetary sum allotted as pension for umpires who retired before 200 stands is Rs 22,500, which when compared to the players’ remuneration, is pennies on the dollar. Interestingly, the BCCI recently signed a deal worth Rs 16347.50 crores for the Indian Premier League (IPL) television and digital rights which is bound to cause a considerable influx of monetary benefits in Indian cricket. The governing body currently has schemes for the retired umpires that include monthly grant and an amount of Rs. 5 lakh reserved for medical fees.

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Umpires question if there would be a game of cricket if not for them

Questioning their current remuneration scheme, which inevitably comes across as measly when laid in comparison with the players’ fee, an umpire stated to Mid-Day.com, “We keep hearing about former players getting one-time payments. A few months ago, we read about players who figured in one to nine Tests getting Rs 35 lakh each. I think we too deserve one-time payments. I don’t grudge the players, but it is a fact that some of them earn a living after their playing days through commentary, media work and coaching while we have very little to turn to.”

Talking about the yesteryears where umpired were entitled to a paltry sum of Rs. 10,000 for each Test match they administered, a match official remarked, “We went to venues by train while the players travelled by air. They stayed in five-star hotels even as we were put up in guest houses.” In the past, past players and umpires received Rs 5000 each per month after the pension scheme was announced in May 2004.

While the amount has increased in leaps and bounds for the former India players, hikes of Rs 5000 were granted for umpires from time to time and subsequently, an enhanced figure of Rs 22,500 was announced before the November 2015 BCCI Annual General Meeting.

“I think some of us should also be considered for the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. We would like to believe that even we have contributed to the growth of Indian cricket,” said another retired umpire, echoing the sentiments of his fellow mates.

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