The Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has decided to raise Rs 24 lakhs to help around 30 former players who are strongly in need of financial help amid this ongoing nationwide lockdown. In order to contribute to this novel initiative of ICA, Mohammed Azharuddin the former Indian Batsman donates 1 lakh to ICA to take this initiative further.
The ICA has raised around 24 lakhs to help around 30 former players who are strongly in need of financial help amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown, a drive that got full support of the former Indian Captain Mohammed Azharuddin. The decision to help the needy cricketers was taken at an ICA meeting which was held online on last Wednesday, it was a second meeting since the Coronavirus forced lockdown was enforced.
“Every player has contributed as per his capability and wish. The most important thing is that we made the appeal for the donations on Friday evening and by today we raised Rs 24 lakh”, ICA President Ashok Malhotra told media. In the total amount raised for the donation Rs, 10 lakh is ICA’s contribution.
Former Indian Captain Mohammed Azharuddin has pledged to donate Rs 1 lakh along with former pacer Rajinder Singh Ghai who also decided to donate a similar amount while former players such as Anshuman Gaekwad and Shanta Rangaswamy have also come forward to help the players with financial help.
“This means people are connected to this initiative and I am completely sure that the amount will increase in the coming days so that we are able to help more players”, Malhotra said. “Till now we are trying to help almost 25-30 needy players but if the amount increases then we can help more players. Players who have settled abroad have also come forward in a big way. They will continue this drive till May 16”.
Malhotra is a successful former first class cricketer, said he is disappointed by the “lack of involvement of the big officials of Indian cricket”. “Our top players are still not involved in this initiative, we are expecting that they will also join this initiative and help their fellow players who desperately need help”. As many as 1750 former cricketers ae registered with the ICA, India’s first-ever player’s association which came into being last year.
The ICA had received an initial grant of Rs 2 crore from the BCCI in February to kick start its operations but currently, the BCCI is providing pension to only cricketers who have played more than 25 first-class games. The ICA also proposed to include the cricketers who had played more than 10 games in the pension scheme