Treatment of injured players burning a hole in BCCI’s pocket

first_imgIn just three months this year, the Indian cricket Board has spent Rs 34.50 lakh on medical assistance of players, with pacer Ishant Sharma’s ankle surgery raising the single biggest bill among the current players – Rs 15.82 lakh.The surgery on the 23-year-old pacer’s troublesome left ankle was performed in London in March and Ishant is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.Ishant rightfully deserves the treatment as one of the contracted players of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and one of its leading pacers, when fit. He is likely to return to action in August, for the home series against New Zealand and, therefore, needs to be kept in cotton wool.A top BCCI official disclosed that during the period under consideration, the BCCI had released a total of Rs 34,50,415 on the treatment of the current and former players. “Of this amount, Rs 27,48,671 has been spent on five contracted players of the Board, namely Ishant, Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, Munaf Patel and Zaheer. And on nine retired players the Board has spent Rs 7,01,744 between January and April,” the official told MAIL TODAY. Tamil Nadu opening batsman Murali Vijay raked up the second highest medical bill, of Rs 8,94,912, on his trip to Australia for treatment on his injured wrist. He has since returned to action and represented the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL in April-May.In all, Rs 1,27,840 was spent on Tendulkar’s medical care. He visited London in March to seek medical advice on his troublesome right toe. Also, he got injured during Mumbai Indians’ opening IPL game against Chennai when a delivery from pacer Doug Bollinger hit his right glove and broke one of his fingers. He, too, has since returned to the field.Bills of pacer Munaf and Zaheer were Rs 79,254 and Rs 64,190, respectively, and settled in the same period – January to April. Both regained fitness and played for their franchises in the IPL, and should be in contention for India’s next assignment, the two-Test series against New Zealand starting on August 23 in Hyderabad.Ishant’s father Vijay Sharma lauded the BCCI for taking care of his son. “The Board pays attention to all the players, especially those who are on its contracted list. Ishant was in Grade A for 2011-12, which was worth Rs 1 crore,” he told MAIL TODAY. The BCCI is showing its humane face. It has reached out to the ailing ex-first-class players too, apart from giving the retired players a handsome one-time purse from the surplus earned from the IPL and Champions League T20.The biggest beneficiary among the nine first-class players is former Kerala player JK Mahendra, 61, who underwent angioplasty a few months ago in Chennai. The BCCI gave him Rs 2,94,291.The other first-class players who benefitted were P Ramesh Naidu (Rs 97,646), Michael Dalvi (Rs 88,194), PK Dharmalingam (Rs 37,000), Stanely Saldhana (Rs 29,265), PR Punjabi (Rs 5,282), and BB Nimbalkar (Rs 1,415).”My two arteries were blocked. I had medical insurance but it had lapsed. About five months ago I wrote to the Board, through the Kerala Cricket Association, for financial assistance,” Mahendra, who played 39 first-class matches between 1967 and 1981, told MAIL TODAY. “I was lucky that I got timely assistance, for which I am thankful to the BCCI. Without this help, I’d have been struggling.” The Hyderabad-based Sultan Saleem, 64, had a heart problem, according to P Man Singh, manager of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team. “He had a heart ailment for which he had received treatment,” said Man Singh, who’s also based in Hyderabad. “In the early 1960s, he scored a triple century in the first innings of a school match and a double ton in the second in a match of the Basalath Jah inter-school tournament. It was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records too.” advertisementlast_img