04 May

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced it would help the country’s cricketers and technical officials, other than the contractual ones, as they face a financial crisis following a complete halt in sport activities due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. According to the PCB announcement, it would support first-class cricketers (only men) and other stakeholders facing hardship in the wake of the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19. The crisis has resulted in the suspension of domestic as well as international cricket. “Along with the first-class cricketers, the support will also be extended to match officials, scorers and ground staff as the PCB has set aside funds from its current fiscal year in these challenging and unprecedented times during which economic activity around the world has taken a big hit,” read a PCB press release issued. A large number of first-class cricketers had already become jobless as a result of PCB’s decision of abandoning departmental cricket. Many scorers, umpires, cricketers and groundstaff members are facing financial crisis without any regular income. Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said, “The PCB feels it has a duty of care towards its stakeholders and, as such, it is imperative that we stand by our people during the lockdown period and support them in the lead up to Eid-ul-Fitr. It was the right time to support cricketers, match officials, scorers and grounds staff in this hour of need.

With limited funds available and to ensure only the deserving candidates are supported, the PCB has put together an eligibility criteria, which is: “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; ground staff that had been employed by the now defunct regional/district cricket associations before Jan 1, 2013 [should have approximately eight years of service],” the release added. “The first-class cricketers who meet the criteria will receive Rs25,000 (US$157) each. Every match official will get Rs15,000 (US$96) while the scorers and groundstaff members will be given Rs10,000 (US$63) each, once and for all, under this package. “Those wishing to benefit from the one-time scheme are advised to contact the PCB at welfare@pcb.com.pk from Monday, May 4, to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This will give the PCB sufficient time to carry out its diligence before releasing funds to the eligible candidates before Eid-ul-Fitr.

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