09 Jun

As many as 161 key stakeholders of Pakistan cricket benefitted from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s one-off welfare initiative, the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on Monday (8 June).

The initiative was launched last month to provide financial relief to first-class cricketers, match referees, scorers and grounds staff facing hardships due to an abrupt halt on cricket activities following the Covid-19 outbreak. This had resulted in the loss of additional income opportunities for these stakeholders during Ramadan after the government announced suspension of all sport activities and events during to the pandemic.

The beneficiaries from the PCB’s scheme are from 51 cities, in areas such as Chaghi, Dadu, Dera Murad Jamali, Hub, Layyah, Mardan, Thatta and Turbat.

The PCB has provided support through the scheme to 93 grounds staff, 31 scorers, 21 match officials and 16 first-class cricketers (who are currently unemployed) under the following criteria:

  • First-class cricketers who featured in the 2018-19 season and have played at least 15 first-class matches in the past five seasons from 2014-15 to 2018-19
  • Match officials and scorers who have officiated in PCB-organised events over the past two seasons
  • Grounds staff that had been employed by the now defunct regional/district cricket associations before 1 January 2013 (should have approximately eight years of service)

First-class cricketers, meeting the above criteria, received PKR25,000 (£121) each, followed by the match officials PKR15,000 (£73) and, the scorers and ground staff PKR10,000 (£48) each.

Expressing his satisfaction, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “It was important for PCB to continue to lead through its actions at this difficult time”.

“Most of the people who have benefitted from this initiative are the ones who were previously associated with the cricket board and as a responsible organisation we strongly believe that it was binding on us to provide whatever assistance we could”.

“While these payments may be a token of support, we have attempted to reach as many as possible to minimise the financial blow in these difficult and unprecedented times.”

Earlier, the PCB contributed over PKR10million (£48,483) in collaboration with the centrally contracted cricketers and staff in Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Fund. The board also offered to turn the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi into a sanctuary for the paramedic staff on duty in the makeshift hospital at Expo Centre.

John Stephenson


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