Even as chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday announced a cash price of Rs1 crore each for cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Zahir Khan, the three city stars who helped the country win the T20 World Cup in 2007 are yet to receive the full cash prize from the state government.
Mumbai cricketers Ajit Agarkar, Rohit Sharma and Lalchand Rajput (team coach) were promised a cash prize of Rs10 lakh each when they won the first edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007 under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
Rajput told Hindustan Times on Sunday that he was given half of the prize money last year in an unceremonious manner. The state sent him three cheques of Rs5 lakh each through courier. The government did not deem it fit to explain the cut (in the prize money) to the dismayed players and the coach.
Rajput said he was the one who handed over the cheques to the two cricketers. Agarkar and Sharma were unavailable for comment.
The then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had asked the administration to hold a ceremony to felicitate the cricketers, but the function never took place.
However, the Commonwealth Games medallist from the state were lucky. At a ceremony, the state gave Rs10 lakh each to gold medal winners, silver medallist got Rs7.5 lakh, and bronze winners Rs5 lakh each. In addition to the cash awards, all of them were promised a ‘class one’ job in the government.
Sports minister Padmakar Valvi claimed that the he was not aware of the matter. The CM and senior officials from his office were unavailable for comment. On Sunday, Chavan announced a cash prize to the support staff hailing from the state.