As much as the focus was on the Daredevils and the Knight Riders on Tuesday, the attention was also on some of India's biggest domestic and international players of the past.
As a result, Chandu Borde, the former India captain and chief selector who hails from Pune, finally attended an IPL game at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. So did Anshuman Gaekwad, the former India opener, coach and selector.
They were among the 15 players who were awarded one-time payments by the cricket Board for their services to Indian cricket at the ground. They are among almost 170 cricketers, including widows of those who would have been eligible, who would be awarded a total of Rs. 70 crore by the board from the surplus revenue generated from the IPL and the Champions League. Players who retired before 2004 and who fulfill certain criteria are eligible.
It is no doubt a noble gesture by the BCCI to recognise the contribution of the yesteryear stalwarts. "Some of the beneficiaries have been invited to the playoff venues. They will be presented their cheques before the start of the matches," BCCI president N Srinivasan said in a statement. "It is practically difficult to invite all the beneficiaries for the matches and hence, the others will be sent their cheques."
Fair enough, but what is surprising is while the BCCI proudly announced the names of 65 former cricketers and four widows who have been invited for the playoffs, they haven't bothered to reveal the full list of beneficiaries. As a result, as soon the announcement was made on Monday, it led to speculative stories about the exclusion of a few big names. In fact, there was no reason for such stories to be spread, but BCCI's lack of transparency meant it had to happen.
"Mohinder Amarnath, GR Viswanath, Syed Kirmani and Dilip Vengsarkar didn't feature in the list since an official ODI has already been staged as a one-time benefit match for each of them," a BCCI insider told HT. "As for Kapil Dev and Kiran More, since they are already associated with the Essel Group (the now-defunct ICL's promoters) and are fighting a legal battle against BCCI, they couldn't be included."
However, fans deserve to know all those who are being rewarded. But nobody knows how many from the list compiled by BCCI's statisticians according to the prescribed criteria and sent to the board president's office in Chennai have been included.
It is up to the Board whether they want to be complimented for such a grand gesture or criticised for their lack of transparency for no obvious reason.