When it rains, it pours – at least for Indian cricket.The awards began coming in for the cricketers from various corners of the country much before the realisation of having won the most coveted trophy in the world had even sunk in. And what began as a trickle of awards soon fattened into a pattern with crores being added to the bank accounts of the members of the winning team as chief ministers of various states tried to go one up on each other in bestowing monetary benefits on the team.The politicians, as they are wont to do, have once again extracted crores of rupees from the tax payer’s hard-earned money, to give to players who, even though they deserve it, don’t need such performance bonuses. The cricketers mint money from various sponsorship and endorsements deals in any case and, throw in their fat Indian Premier League contracts, and their income becomes astronomical.The BCCI is also one of the richest sports bodies in the world and it is no secret that it controls the flow of money into international cricket. One would assume that in this era of annual contracts and big match fees, the cricket board’s bonuses would serve as a great performance bonus anyway.And yet, the Delhi government, which is already reeling under the multi-crore scam related to the Commonwealth Games, announced Rs 2 crore for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rs 1 crore each for the four Delhi players who were part of the World Cup-winning team.advertisementNot to be left behind, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chauhan announced an award of Rs 1 crore each for Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan. Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh will be given cash awards of Rs 1 crore each, while Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa announced the cricketers will be given a residential plot each from the Bangalore Development Authority.Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhrayal Nishank promised a residential plot or a house in Mussoorie for Dhoni and Tendulkar while the Tamil Nadu government announced a cash reward of Rs 3 crore to the team and Rs 1 crore for Tamil Nadu player R Ashwin.The civil society, however, is indignant over these bonuses. Activist/photographer Parthiv Shah said: “The cricketers can’t be blamed for this as they are not asking for all these rewards. We should ask the chief ministers of states to tell us as to what protocol they have followed? They all want to draw mileage out of this big victory. A better way of celebration would have been to pool all this money into a fund to take care of cricketers and other sportspersons who have fallen on bad times. It would be better if cricketers could appeal that they don’t want any reward.” Activist Shabnam Hashmi labels the jamboree surrounding the World Cup win as vulgar.”There is a whole lot of truth to the rumours about matches being fixed. The whole business of cricket is vulgar,” she told Mail Today. Speaking on her way back from Barabanki, Hashmi added: “Weavers in Barabanki are living at starvation levels but no chief minister would come forward and announce some monetary assistance for them. I’ve nothing against honouring sportspersons but then, players of other disciplines too should be rewarded.” Artist Ram Rahman said: ” This sudden gifting is unexplained. No politician comes forward to help people like AK Hangal and we all know the state of penury that Ustad Bismillah Khan was reduced to.” Rahman feels that Sonia Gandhi’s rushing out to join celebrations at ITO was a better way of celebrating than distributing bounty.LARGESSE POURS INTamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi announced a cash award of Rs 3 crore for the team while a special award of Rs 1 crore was meant for offspinner R Ashwin, who hails from the state Four players working with Air India – captain MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina – would be promoted to the next rank Rs 2 crore for Dhoni and Rs 1 crore each for Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ashish Nehra from the Delhi government Rs 1 crore each for Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan from Maharashtra Rs 1 crore each for Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh from Punjab Players to get a residential plot each from the Bangalore Development Authority Residential plots in Uttarakhand for Dhoni & Tendulkar.