Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that it was an initiative that the ICA had been discussing for some time now and will be aimed at those former domestic players who do not have any means of income and are fighting a daily battle.
“Yes, led by our president, we are planning to create a fund which shall have contributions from their 1750 members and along with that the likes of our chief Ashok Malhotra are also looking to add their one month's pension to the fund to make it a substantial amount and then distribute it among those 25-30 former players who are facing difficulties in getting through this tough phase,” the source said.
Commenting on the initiative, Malhotra said: “We are looking to start this as soon as possible. While some of us are looking to give our one month's pension, which is around Rs 40,000, some will also give in 10-15,000. The basic request has been that every member should kindly contribute a minimum of Rs 1,000. After that, it is on individuals to decide what they wish to donate to the cause. Former players have been really forthcoming to be honest and everyone agreed the moment the idea was floated.
“We are looking at around five people per zone. There are many former players who have no means of earning and have grown really old. So, this is where the ICA will come in and help those former players as these are tough times and going through such a phase without a source of income can be really difficult. These are bad times and while this is not a long-term initiative as of now, but we are looking to bail them out till the time the pandemic is there.”
Malhotra said that this donation wasn't just restricted to the former cricketers and anybody willing to donate to the cause is more than welcome.
“Even people from other walks of life can come forward and contribute if they wish to. This is not just restricted to ICA members. While the body will put Rs 12-15 lakh to the fund, we are requesting the members to contribute as they wish. Without taking names, I do know many former cricketers will come forward and contribute more than just Rs 1,000 and that then increases the purse further.
“We will get a list from the zones and then shortlist the final 25-30. But, we are not looking to use the whole fund behind the former cricketers alone. Say, if we manage to have a pool of Rs 30 lakh, we will not go ahead and distribute that to the group of players at one go. We will give an X amount every month and then if there is some fund that is left, we will keep that away for future use when some other former cricket needs it for treatment or something. Just looking to make a positive contribution in these times,” he pointed.