As the Indian Premier League commenced in Chennai with Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore, a heartwarming gesture from the franchise and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is a Lieutenant Colonel with the Indian Army, unfolded.
After the toss, a military band, the Madras Regiment Band performed and Dhoni, on behalf of Chennai Super Kings, handed a cheque of Rs 2 crore to S. Elango, DIG CRPF, for the welfare of the families of Pulwama martyrs. The amount was raised from the ticket collections of the match.
The estimated cost of hosting an IPL opening ceremony is Rs 20 crore. It was unanimously decided that a sum of Rs 11 crore be contributed to the Indian Army, Rs 7 crore to the CRPF and Rs 1 crore each to the Navy and Air Force respectively, a press release from the IPL said.
The amount, totalling to Rs. 20 crore, was then handed over to the armed forces by representatives of the CoA and BCCI - Diana Edulji, Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge, CK Khanna and Anirudh Chaudhry.
CoA Chairman, Vinod Rai in the media release, said, “As a federation, we felt it was best not to hold a regular IPL opening ceremony. Instead, we decided to contribute the amount towards a cause that is so important and close to everyone’s heart.”
Diana Edulji, a member of CoA, said, “This comes as a welcome move and as a mark of respect to the ones who lost their lives in the terror attack. The BCCI has always been sensitive towards issues of national interest and will continue to make contributions whenever the need arises.”
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