We have all heard of the generous prizes offered by Sungrace Mafatlal to the Indian team for the coming cricket season. My friend, who lives on the 21st floor and has put in more money in cricket than Sungrace and Sheikh Bukhatir combined, is ofering the following prizes.
To the youngest batsman scoringthe quickest 50 at Sharjah, a TV, VCR, microwave oven, cooking-range, refrigerator, air-conditioner, and an Eagle Flask (export variety). To the bowler who gets five or more wickets in two matches, the same prizes plus money to pay at the customs to bring them back to India. To the outstanding allrounder, a Honda car, and to the outstanding fielder, camel. To the series against Pakistan in India, for the Indian batsman with the best average, two complimentary tickets on Pakistan International Airlines and a permanent pass on Indian Airlines. For the bowler with the best averages, two complimentary tickets in Indian Airlines and a permanent pass on PIA. For the most promising young Indian fast bowlers in the series, a special coaching stint with Imran Khan. For the player displaying the best sporting spirit in the series, a job with the Indian embassy in Islamabad.
With the tour of Australia, we move into the money market. For every Test won by India, one million dollars for each run of the margin of victory. So, if Indina wins a Test by 215 runs, then the team gets to share 215 million dollars. Or, if it wins by five wickets, then 50 million dollars per wicket, making it 250 million dollars. Note: The dollars are American, not Australian.
For each one-day international that India wins, five million American dollars.
For the best batsman and bowler in each Test and international, one million Australian dollars.
For the World Cup, for each match India wins, beginning with five million American dollars, to be doubled with each win.
There are special prizes for winning a series. For the Sharjah series, an oilfield to be put in the joint name of the team members, not including Manager Ashok Mankad, who will be provided with a be provided with a benefit match at a later date.
For winning the series against Pakistan, the Khyber Pass. For the series against Australia, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney opera house. For winning the World Cup, two T-shirts to each member of the team, saying: "We are the world champions."
Unlike Sungrace, my friend is also giving a prize if the team loses the World Cup. A framed and autographed photograph of Madhavrao Scindia, future prime minister.