Still no funds, office space for ICA

The Indian Cricketers’ Association, recognised by the BCCI, is awaiting funds from the board to kick-start operations.

Ashok Malhotra was elected the president of the Indian Cricketers Association unopposed in October, last year.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Indian Cricketers’ Association (ICA), India's first ever players' association formed as per recommendation of the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel in July 2019, is still awaiting funds from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to kick-start operations.

In October last year, the ICA had prepared an annual budget of Rs 15-20 crore to run its affairs from a new office space in Mumbai. As of now, the members have been communicating via e-mails and phone calls from their respective locations.

“No, they haven’t given the funds yet. We are waiting for it. Once we get the funds, there will be an office space. We were expecting it to be cleared by January, now, hopefully by February first week. It will all fall in place,” ICA president Ashok Malhotra told Sportstar on Saturday.

Increased salaries for first-class cricketers is the top agenda of the ICA. It also wants to recommend pension for the wives of the deceased Ranji Trophy players.

READ: Welfare of cricketers 'first and foremost', says ICA president Ashok Malhotra

“It is the first agenda. First, we have to be acceptable by all state units. A lot of state units, like Bihar, has still not allowed Apex Council members to attend meetings. If they don’t allow them, it becomes null and void,” said Malhotra.

Having close to 2,000 former cricketers in the ICA, Malhotra believes it can also provide coaches and trainers. “We can give coaches from our association. All our members are former players, so it is a big platform, and the age-group is between 35 to 70. So you can take your pick,” he added.

The only difference between the ICA and the player associations from other major countries is that it has no participation from current India cricketers.

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