New Delhi, May 23, 2012
Former India captain Ravi Shastri took a dig at his World Cup-winning teammate Kirti Azad whose name has been removed from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) list of one-time payment beneficiaries apparently for questioning the lack of accountability and transparency in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I think it's a fantastic gesture by the BCCI. You will always have (people complaining of) sour grapes," Shastri said referring to Azad.
According to sources, the BCCI scratched the name of Azad from the list of beneficiaries for the one-time payment following his fast at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground here in protest against the alleged financial irregularities in the IPL.
"That's their problem with the BCCI. I don't think anyone has been dropped. Players like Jimmy (Mohinder Amarnath) and (Vishy) Gundappa Vishwanath haven't got it...it's because they have got their benefit.
"Now even I had an opportunity to take the benefit... had I taken the benefit I wouldn't have got the payment from the BCCI. So the choice was upto the players, so you can't say you have been robbed of the opportunity," Shastri told Times Now.
"The fact that you had not taken it, they have decided to give a one-time payment. I don't know how many people will benefit form this, 170-180 and about 70-80 crore that go to the players," he added.
Azad, who is to get Rs 35 lakh under the BCCI scheme, said he will continue his protest against the IPL and the Board.
The Board had released the list of 65 players invited to collect their cheques at the four IPL venues, but the entire list of beneficiaries has never been made public.