Indian Cricketers Association has been able to raise Rs 78 lakh and will offer monetary assistance to 57 needy cricketers as they combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICA had originally planned to help players, who’re struggling for funds involving the health crisis.

ICA president Ashok Malhotra said: “We were hoping to help from 20 to 25 cricketers, but with the support of cricket colleagues we’ve been able to provide assistance to 57 cricketers.”

The new batch of 24 beneficiaries includes blind cricketer Shekhar Naik, who had been awarded Padma Shri in 2017 and 3 widows of the former players. Naik, who lead India to victories at the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in 2012 and Blind Cricket World Cup in the year 2014, has been slotted in ‘category A’ and he will get Rs 1,00,000 along with seven others. 

Shekhar Naik

The 2nd and 3rd category which comprise eight beneficiaries each will get Rs 80,000 and Rs 60,000 per person.

Cricketers who do not have jobs, who do not get a pension from the BCCI or their individual state associations will be offered help.

Cricket greats like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are among those who’ve made monetary contributions to the cause. As much as 1,750 former cricketers are enrolled with the ICA, India’s first-ever Players Association, which came into being last year. The ICA had received an initial grant of Rs 2 crore from the BCCI in February to jump-start its operations.

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