Indian Cricket Association (ICA) has managed to accumulate a whopping INR 78 lakhs to provide financial assistance to the deprived cricketers. The COVID-19 health crisis has ravaged the world and India is rapidly becoming its epicentre, recording a tally of more than 5000 cases each day over the past few weeks. The instances of the deadly virus have risen comfortably to over 2.5 lakhs.
And the brunt of the pandemic has been borne by those who stay below the poverty line. In the wake of this, the ICA has taken a noble initiative of helping those in dire need. The BCCI granted INR 2 crores as an initial grant in February to commence their operations. The ICA initially planned to help 25-30 former players, who are struggling to make ends meet.
The association’s President Ashok Malhotra stated that they expected to assist only 20-25 cricketers; however, the contribution by former players helped in aiding a larger group of athletes. Amongst the new batch of 24 beneficiaries comprises of Shekhar Naik, who received the Padma Shri Award in 2017 and three widows of former players.
Shekhar Naik served as the captain of the Indian team that won the Blind Cricket World Cup tournament in 2012 and 2014. He comes in Category A. The players slotted in Category A would receive INR one lakh while the ones falling in the second and third category would get 80000 and 60000 respectively.
“We were expecting to help 20 to 25 cricketers but with the support of fellow cricketers, we have managed to provide assistance to 57 cricketers.” the President stated as quoted by Times of India.
A total of 1750 cricketers have registered themselves with ICA:
An aggregate of 1750 cricketers are part of India’s first-ever players’ association, having made its debut last year. Cricketers who don’t have jobs in their hand or don’t receive pensions from BCCI or the respective state associations would be offered assistance. Renowned former cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev also have monetary contributions to the cause.