Umpires’ group starts distributing food grains to help scorers, groundsmen hit by lockdown

The initiative, led by former Mumbai Cricket Association managing committee member Ganesh Iyer, had earlier raised funds for umpires and scorers.

A view of the Azad Maidan in Mumbai.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

‘Lending a Hand’, an initiative by a group of former umpires, continued to help the local match officials, scorers and groundsmen, who are in distress due to the coronavirus-forced nationwide lockdown, by starting distribution of foodgrains.

The initiative, led by former Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) managing committee member and ex-BCCI umpire Ganesh Iyer, had earlier raised funds for umpires and scorers whose livelihood has been hit hard following the suspension of cricket activities due to the pandemic.

With Maharashtra continuing to reel under the impact of the dreaded disease, which has infected over 6000 people in the state, ‘Lending a Hand’ has now started distributing food essential to needy umpires, scorers and groundsmen.

READ: Umpiring fraternity raise funds for fellow umpires and scorers

“Lending a Hand took up another initiative with the support of Manoj Berde (fellow Umpire from BARC) and are progressively supplying food essential to 50 needy Umpires, Scorers and Groundsmen,” Iyer said on Friday.

“The process began a few days ago. Sandeep Thakur is coordinating on behalf of ‘Lending a Hand’ and is supported by a scorer in distribution. The first lot has been delivered comprising -- Tur Dal 1 kg, Rice 2 kg, Masala 1/4 kg, Wheat Flour 2 kg and refined soyabean oil.”

Iyer said they had collected a total of Rs 5.04 lakh in their fund-raising initiative, of which Rs 4.30 lakh has been distributed.

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“48 match officials have recieved Rs 7500 each and 14 other match officials have received Rs 5000 each,” he said.

“We have a balance of Rs 74,000 left, which has been kept for emergencies. It will be disbursed in the last week.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far claimed over 700 lives and infected more than 23,000 people in the country.

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