Delhi curator supports cricketers giving money to ground staff

April 15th, 2008 - 3:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Veteran Delhi cricket curator Radhey Shyam Tuesday supported the “tradition” of giving money to ground staff for hard work, justifying India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni giving Rs.10,000 to the Kanpur curator after the win over South Africa Sunday. “Ground staff at every venue waits eagerly for an international match. A Test match or a One-Day International is like their Holi or Diwali - an occasion when players give them money as appreciation,” Radhey Shyam, who had also prepared the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch on which Anil Kumble took all 10 Test wickets against Pakistan in 1999, told IANS.

“I felt sad when I heard that people are finding ulterior motives in Dhoni giving money to the Green Park Stadium pitch curator Shiv Kumar. He gave the money to him and the rest of the ground staff as his appreciation,” he said.

India, led for the first time in a Test by Dhoni, defeated South Africa inside three days in the third five-day Test on a pitch that assisted slow bowlers and later provided uneven bounce. It was said that the pitch was prepared under specific instructions from the Indian team after it had lost the second Test in Ahmedabad and trailed the series 0-1 going into the final match.

An organiser of the Kanpur Test said the money was not meant only for Shiv Kumar.

“The money was meant to be shared by four or five people who are part of the ground staff. And if you divide Rs.10,000 it comes to just about Rs.2,000 per head. Is it big money?” he said by phone from Kanpur.

Shiv Kumar, on his part, denied that he received any money from Dhoni.

“I have not received any money from anyone. If someone else has received money, I do not know about it. But traditionally, players give money to ground staff as a token of appreciation,” Kumar told IANS from Kanpur.

Radhey Shyam said he was given money when Kumble took a world-record 10 wickets in the second innings against Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla in 1999.

“Giving a token amount to the ground staff is just a tradition and it must continue. I was given Rs.4,000 by Kapil Dev once after an international match at the Kotla. Many players give some money individually, but that never comes out in the open. It’s part of the game’s tradition,” he said.

Radhey Shyam, in fact, alleged that these days few players give money to the ground staff.

“With so much money coming into the game, players have become more money minded. For instance, no Delhi player gave anything to the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds men this season while the Himachal Pradesh team gave Rs.1,000,” he said.

Even umpires give some money to grounds men just for measuring the pitch, the boundary line, the inner circle and the stumps’ width and height. “That should not be misconstrued,” said Radhey Shyam.

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