cricket scorers: 17 scorers knock at BCCI door, seek post-retirement benefits | Cricket News

BENGALURU: In the cricket ecosystem, the pre-eminence of a scorer often goes unacknowledged. Now, the pandemic has made their lives miserable with many of them staring at an uncertain future.
Last year, 17 BCCI scorers above the age of 60 were handed retirement notices. Their postings in Duleep Trophy matches in November were withdrawn and they were told that they were being retired with almost immediate effect.
The scorers’ fraternity has been voicing its concern, approaching first the Committee of Administrators and now the new office-bearers of the BCCI as well as respective state associations. But their pleas for at least the extension of retirement age have gone unheard.
M Nagaraj, with over three decades of experience in scoring, told TOI: “Overnight, our passion was crushed. I was assigned the Duleep Trophy match at 2 pm one day and three hours later I was told that my posting was cancelled because BCCI had decided to retire scorers above 60 years of age. We deserve to be treated better. We should have been given prior notice that age-based retirement was going to be introduced, not told two days before a tournament.”
Nagaraj, 68, pointed out that the sudden development has left many without a livelihood. Additionally, even though they come under the larger BCCI umbrella, there are no post-retirement benefits for scorers. Their respective state associations too haven’t done much to represent their case.
“We are as much a part of the BCCI as the players, umpires or other match officials. But we get nothing from the board beyond match fees. There is no pension, medical support or a one-time benefit. We are very grateful to the BCCI for the opportunities given to us. Had we been taken out of the system because of poor performance, we’d have no complaints. But to be slapped with an age-cap without adequate notice has left us numb,” rued 60-year-old Bhaskar, who was a BCCI scorer for over a dozen seasons.
While appeals for post-retirement packages have been going out for many months, the scorers intensified their battle for benefits following the sudden death of Kolkata scorer Kousik Saha in January this year.
“Often, when our scorers are in financial need, we chip in from within our community only, which is very unfortunate. I fell ill during a match a few years ago and had some health complications which required a surgery. I got no help from the BCCI or the KSCA,” pointed out Nagaraj.
In a letter to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, the scorers recently wrote, “… we 17 had to face unfortunate developments in the past 6 to 8 months. Good administration of BCCI must not lose sense of direction by asking 17 scorers to retire compulsorily all of a sudden. Cricket intellectuals should not be so harsh on us. Maybe good people are there to amend the things. It will be ideal if the BCCI reconsiders its decision, has a dialogue with us and frames a permanent retirement policy for all scorers.”
While there has been no response from the board, the scorers are hopeful that sooner rather than later, there will be a change of heart.

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