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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Money! Money! Money! It’s Not Cricket, But Hockey!


The Indian Hockey Team won the inaugural Asian Hockey Championship held in China beating arch rivals Pakistan. And the championship for money started anew.

The Hockey players came home triumphant, but they thought celebrations were not up to the mark—that is say—to the level of cricket triumphs! They were felicitated in a ministerial level function, but mayhem followed. They were given cash incentives of 25,000 rupees each (just above 500 dollars) which the players indignantly rejected. The Indian Hockey federation haplessly cited ‘no money’ as the reason and sent an S0S to the Indian sports minister. Immediately in the afternoon yesterday the minister hiked the amount to 150,000 rupees each along with 2.5 million rupees offered by a state government.

The hockey players were righteously angry. Recently, the world cup cricket winning Indian players were given 20 million rupees each along with many add-on thrown in by many connected with the game. At least give us something that can compare a little with the cricket money, they seemed to say. For a cricket match the cricketers get 200,000 rupees each while the hockey ones get a pathetic 1800 rupees per match! It was after all a question of adding one or two more zeros! While Team India actually makes zeros galore in some series performance or the other the money inflow hardly ebbs. And more importantly, the money-spinning T20 game always lurks around the corner to add the much desired zeros!

One star player of the hockey championship, Yuvraj Valmiki, lives in 16 by 16 slum hutment with no electricity in uptown Mumbai. Now things are rolling for Yuvraj (getting closer to the cricket Yuvraj?) with city corporations, local and regional politicians and many other organizations fully mobilized to help him out.

The Maharashtra government too yesterday announced a cash prize of 1 million rupees to the hockey pauper.

Yes, the sports inequalities in India are just like the income assets and wealth inequalities. But, you must thank only cricket powered by the richest cricket board of the world. The game of cricket sets the precedents to be demanded asked for and desired by the other sports fraternities. If cricketers were not given monumental incentives would the hockey players have succeeded in getting whatever they have got now?

It’s a question of money which is a follower of cricket which is again a follower of money! Don’t be funny and complain! The Championship of Money is only likely to hot up!



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