The entire country celebrated the victory of the men’s cricket team winning the final of the ICC Champion’s Trophy. The boys were lauded on every platform and rightly so. However, one concern that has been making rounds on social media is the announcement of Rs10 million for each player by the Prime Minister.

In the same vein, a petition was filed by advocate Tariq Asad in Islamabad High Court (IHC). It asks the PM Secretariat to explain whether the move was allowed under the constitution of Pakistan. According to him, the players were already awarded the prize money for the league, and on top of that; also earn a good amount of monthly salary. Hence, the use of public funds on such rewards is questionable; as it can be used for public welfare.

Beyond this, the players were showered with cars, houses, and many other gifts by several admirers. While these gestures are acts of appreciation and our team desperately needs it, there has to be a balanced way for this. Money is not the solution to everything, especially when they make huge amounts of it.

Rs150 million is a huge amount; the same amount that can be used to improve several sectors of the economy – health, and education preferably. However, if the money can only be used for sports; hockey is our national sport but it barely ever receives any attention or funds to improve their game. There are countless other stories of national sporting heroes being forced to sell their medals, or set up small stalls to make ends meet.

But even if this money were to be invested in cricket specifically, it could have been given to the women’s team who, despite not being paid for the last six months, went and played the series. If not that, the large amount could have been invested directly into the sport – improving fields and setting up training centres, among other things.

And while the PM Secretariat’s attorney general may be right in pointing out that the Prime Minister, under Articles 78-89 of the constitution, has the right to allocate such funds; it is important for them to understand that the money comes from the masses, who have the right to demand its efficient use.