With this win, India's arrived? Hardly!

I know it'll be some time before the dust settles and the jingoism dies down on India's historic world cup win. But that I guess is no reason for near senile acts by governments across states in India.

Government dipping into their reserves to dole out crores of money to the victorious cricketers means you and I have had our tax money go to guys who are otherwise stinking rich. It also means something that you and I had to benefit from in the form of social expenditure has now gone up in smoke. Imagine the disturbing irony. People starve to death in this country and rich cricketers are being handed out a crore of rupees here, and a crore there, as if its peanuts that's being distributed. Note, I have zero problems with BCCI paying cricketers whatever they think is their due. Its government money I am peeved about.

But then again I am not surprised. After all, when has government been known to manage our money well? Again, logically they aren't supposed to. It isn't their money, so why should they care? Its time we realized there aren't any free rides in the world we live. That's true even in the consumer world. For everything you think you're getting 'free' at a store as a consumer, there's actually a payback. Either its larger volumes you buy, or its the patronage of a product brand, or even a patronage of a retail store. Remember, nothing's free and mustn't be!

Coming back to cricket, its a pity government does nothing for people who play other sports. Note what Pathrikit reports in the Midday, 'the state of the national sport is well known. Here's an interesting comparison - in September 2007, India won both the Hockey Asia Cup and T20 Cricket World Cup. The cricket team received Rs 2 crore as tournament prize money. BCCI
announced Rs 8 crore for the players. Players received cash awards up to Rs. 21 lakh from their respective state governments.

As for the hockey players, individual greetings were sent by the President of India. IHF had announced an incentive for the team where they would receive Rs 1000 for every goal scored and lose Rs 2000 for every goal conceded. Most state governments did not even send a congratulatory note to the players, forget about prizes and rewards.'

Tell me, what could be more distressing?

Last and not the least, it'll be good to remember cricket's hardly played by a dozen nations. Contrast this with athletes who represent us at the Olympics. They need to beat competition from around the world. Just qualifying for the Olympics I believe is a bigger feat than beating a former colonial power or a few of their former colonies at a game called cricket.


Unknown said…
Its indeed very surprising (infact not so much) to see the way the diff. state govts. are just showering money onto these players...not only money...there are Eklavya awards being given...to MUNAF PATEL???? Really??? As much as its is wonderful to have India win,the amount of money being 'showered' away kinda takes any income tax payer aback! And by not-so-much surprise!
Pilot said…
Hello Ray,

It is rather (un)surprising that this was not expected by you given the way you doted the strength of cricket as a brand in India in the previous post, and the impact of brands in general all over this blog.

From a marketing perspective, the actions being excoriated in this post exemplify the impact of a powerful brand more than anything else.

Not that I stand by those spewing out the excesses....
Pilot said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
agree govt should encourage people like bill gates and warren buffet(no example from india) rather than these billionares who have not done nothing for society
Ray Titus said…

Yeah, the awards too are surprising. But then as you mentioned, not surprising at all. It isn't as much the awards that are given that's the problem, its the ones denied to more deserving sportsmen from other sports that makes this charade distressing!


No taking away the fact that cricket's the biggest brand of all sports. Thank a billion of us for that.

But that's no reason for taxpayer money to be squandered!
Pilot said…
Yes, I suppose governments cannot be as irrational as consumers are about brands that they like or - even more likely, embrace.

Spot on...!

But I still think the post is not unbiased.
Ray Titus said…
Yep, governments can't be, but consumers can be. After all consumers are doing the irrational-rhumba with their own money.

About the bias, I agree, in fact me thinks watching players dribble a ball into a goal is so much a better watch!

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