24 May

The Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has shortlisted 36 needy players, including former India pace bowler Devraj Govindraj, for offering financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Govindraj, 73, was part of the Indian team’s historic Test series wins in England and the West Indies in 1971.The bowler, who has 190 wickets from 93 first-class matches, however did not get to play a match. He was settled in England but moved back to India.

“The ICA had received totally 52 applications (men and women) for financial assistance from retired first-class cricketers and widows. The five members of the Board of Directors of ICA approved financial assistance to 36 needy, retired cricketers/widows,” the association’s president Ashok Malhotra said.

Govindraj, along with seven others (men and women) found himself in the B category, which offers an aid of Rs 80000 (£865) per person.

A total of 20 people (11 men and 9 women), including former UP and Delhi players, are in category A, which offers Rs 1 lakh (£1081), while the third category features eight with an amount of Rs 60000 (£649) per person.

“It was very heartening to see large number of men and women members/well- wishers contributing generously to the fund. The ICA is thankful to all and especially to some of the iconic retired Indian international cricketers,” Malhotra, himself a former player, said.

He said the applications were thoroughly scrutinised and discussed extensively and approvals were done keeping in mind the financial and health conditions of the applicant. Apart from that, age and the applicant’s current financial position was also considered.

As of May 15, the ICA generated Rs 57 lakh (£61,665) to help former cricketers who are struggling for funds amid the health crisis.

Greats like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are among the ones who have made financial contributions to the cause.

As many as 1750 former cricketers are registered with the ICA, India’s first-ever players’ association which came into being last year on the recommendation of the Lodha Committee.

John Stephenson




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