COVID-19: ICA plans monetary aid for former cricketers

The Indian Cricketers Association plans to donate Rs 15 lakh from its fund, and the members are also likely to chip in with separate contributions.

The Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has managed to raise Rs 78 lakh and will provide financial assistance to 57 needy cricketers as they battle COVID-19.. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Ever since its inception in October last year, the ICA has been batting for pension scheme for all the former cricketers. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  Getty Images

The Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has decided to extend a helping hand to former cricketers who are not eligible to receive pension from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nor have any source of income in these trying times.

The ICA plans to donate Rs 15 lakh from its fund, and the members are also likely to chip in with separate contributions.

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“We are shortlisting about 30 cricketers across zones, who we could help. These are challenging times and we want to help the needy cricketers by providing some financial help,” ICA chief, Ashok Malhotra, told Sportstar.

A former India international, Malhotra has decided to donate his one month’s pension for this cause. “Even other members are planning to help out with their contributions. If our members come forward and support the cause, we can help out so many needy cricketers and their families,” Malhotra said.

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The ICA has also requested its members to contribute a minimum of Rs 1,000. “We have received a great response for the initiative and most of the former cricketers have come forward to help the cause. This is a very important time and we need to support each other,” Malhotra said.

Ever since its inception in October last year, the ICA has been batting for a pension scheme for all the former cricketers.

“Now a player is eligible for pension only after he plays a certain amount of Ranji Trophy matches and we have been discussing the idea of including cricketers who have played lesser amount of domestic cricket to get some amount of pension,” Malhotra, a former national selector, said, making it clear that he hasn’t spoken to the BCCI about the new initiative.

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“This is our initiative. We have been aiming to help out the cricketers and this is the right time to go about it,” the ICA chief said.

Meanwhile, the association will set up its office in Bengaluru. In a conference call a few days ago, it was decided that the ICA top officials will visit Bengaluru once the lockdown is lifted to shortlist a few places, where the office can be set up.

“Some of us were scheduled to travel to Bengaluru in March, but we had to postpone the trip due to the lockdown. Once things normalise, we will start the process,”

Malhotra said, adding that a few hiring also needs to be done ‘at the earliest.’

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