New Delhi: As soon Sports Minister Vijay Goel announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for the Indian blind cricket team for winning the Blind T20 Cricket World Cup, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) on Monday said the team won’t be accepting the prize as the team were “expecting more”.
Earlier in the day, Goel, while felicitating the Indian blind cricket team, announced a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs for the entire team.
However, CABI president, GK Mahantesh, while expressing jubilance over the victory, said that it was sad they have yet not been recognised by the government.
“Our boys are a little disappointed. Last time, when our boys won the World Cup, they got Rs.5 lakh each. So, this time they were expecting more. Hopefully, bigger cash prizes will be announced,” Mahantesh said.
“I don’t know if it is for the team or individual. If it is for the team (cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs), they won’t accept it. They don’t want the cash prize,” he added.
The CABI president further called on the government and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to give them the official recognition.
“The sad part is we are still struggling for resources. The government is yet to give us official recognition. In 2002, when Pakistan won the World Cup, immediately they were recognised. That is the kind of speed other countries are working. I don’t know why our government is sleeping on it,” he said.
“They should quickly react. It would be great if the government and BCCI react and recognise, embrace and endorse this (CABI). It’s a shame because if they don’t do. Our boys have won four championships in the last four years.”
“It is high time they respond and positively recognise this otherwise it’s a big insult to our country,” he added.
Earlier, while felicitating the team, the Sports Minister had said that the ministry would think about giving recognition to the Blind Cricket Federation.
“The attraction of blind cricket is such that over 30, 000 spectators watched the tournament. The Indian squad has played exceptionally well throughout the tournament and this being their second consecutive title proves that they are invincible,” Goel said.
“India won four medals during the Rio Paralympics and now the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup, it shows that our divyang players are doing wonders and need to be given full support to achieve big.”
“The BCCI should give affiliation to the Blind Cricket Federation. I have not talked to the BCCI officials till now regarding this matter. Once I talk to them, I would be able to know what are their problems regarding the same,” he added.
India defeated Pakistan by nine wickets in the final to lift the trophy at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this month.