‘BCCI must help junior players manage their millions’

March 5th, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin  

(U-19 World Cup aftermath)
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Fearing that loads of money coming their way for winning the under-19 World Cup could spoil them, some of the best-known former India players Wednesday asked the board to assist the cricketers handle their bulging bank balances. Former Test players Ajit Wadekar, Bishan Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig and Chetan Chauhan said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should appoint an expert to help these teenagers invest their money earned for winning the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur Sunday.

The BCCI immediately announced that each of the 15 players would receive Rs.1.5 million while coach Dav Whatmore and other members of the support staff would get Rs.1 million each as bonus. The International Cricket Council gives no prize money for the under-19 World Cup.

Another big, fat purse is on their way as almost all of them would be now signed by the eight franchise owners of the Indian Premier League, beginning next month. In fact, the franchisees were so keen to sign them that they were chasing them in Kuala Lumpur, before BCCI stopped them from doing so to allow them to concentrate on the game.

In addition, some of these players, who returned home to a tumultuous reception in Bangalore Tuesday, are expected to sign lucrative endorsement deals with corporate houses and sports management firms.

“It (money) will go to their heads,” Bedi told IANS from his hometown Amritsar.

“Their cricket ability was not much seen. It was luck that made them win the title. They have got Rs.1.5 million for a 25-over match,” he lamented, referring to the rain interruption after which South Africa’s innings was reduced to 25 overs and eased India’s task Sunday.

Wadekar and Baig, on the other hand, felt that the BCCI should appoint someone to help these greenhorns manage their money.

“The money they have won is justifiable as the value of rupee has gone down. The BCCI should advise them on how to invest the money and keep it for a rainy day,” Wadekar said by phone from Mumbai.

“Since many parents of these players perhaps don’t know how to manage such large amounts, the BCCI should help them file returns etc.”

Baig too wanted the cash-rich BCCI to assist the juniors.

“It (too much money too soon) is a little disturbing. BCCI can teach them money and wealth management,” he said.

“It can appoint an expert who can teach them how best to utilise their money. But the BCCI doesn’t think that way.”

Chauhan felt the game has been commercialised all over the world.

“I think the money they have won is an incentive for their performance. At the same time, the players should use discretion how to spend their money,” he said.

“Commercialisation is the name of the game. It has its good point and bad points.”

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