The BCCI had its annual general meeting on Thursday.© AFP
Ashok Malhotra, Chairman of the Indian Cricketers ‘Association (ICA), on Tuesday expressed his satisfaction with the BCCI’s decision to release an additional funding of Rs 3 crore to run the players’ bodies and hoped their pending demands “sooner than later” will be met. Malhotra, who has been critical of the BCCI for failing to meet their demands in the past, was delighted that at least one of their requests – increasing former players’ medical insurance from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh – has been approved.
“We are grateful to the BCCI and Secretary Jay Shah for answering our demands. We initially asked for Rs 5 crore but got Rs 2 crore. Now the rest of the amount has been released,” Malhotra told PTI.
“Health insurance coverage has doubled, which is what we wanted. I am confident that our other requirements will be met sooner rather than later. I have also been told that a committee has been formed to investigate the review of the players’ pension”, he said.
The requirements, which have not yet been met, include pension for former players who have played less than 25 first-class matches, pension for widows of former cricketers and a benevolent fund for Manoj Prabhakar, whose BCCI ban ended in 2005 for match- press charges against him.
ICA, India’s first-ever players’ association, formed according to the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel, received Rs 2 crore from the BCCI in February to kick-start its activities.
The cricket board has decided to release an additional Rs 3 crore to ICA at its AGM on December 24th. However, it is expected to sustain itself in the long run.
“Things are going well when we get Rs one crore per year from the BCCI. By raising more than Rs 70 lakh for the former players hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, we have shown that we are through other channels can generate money, ”Malhotra added.
The ICA AGM was also held earlier this month.
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