Pension and insurance cover for ex-cricketers top of agenda: New Indian Cricketers’ Association president
CHENNAI: Legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar were among others who didn’t apply for membership of the Indian Cricketers’ Association (ICA).With elections for the first BCCI-recognised ex-players’ association over and result announced on Sunday, the newly elected panel will gather for the first board meeting on October 16 in Mumbai. Among a few things expected to be discussed by the ICA in the meeting is to bring these former cricketers on board as soon as possible.
“It’s a body for ex-cricketers. We had players’ associations in the past but the ICA is the first BCCI-recognised body of former players in the country. It’s a reality now. We’re more than 1,200 members at the moment and we like to raise the number considerably so as to include every former cricketer from the country. Some of them missed out this time due to some reasons,” Ashok Malhotra, ICA president, who was elected unopposed, said.
Malhotra, who played seven Tests and 20 ODIs, however, asserted that the welfare of former first-class players will be priority. “Even our president-elect Sourav Ganguly has said that first-class cricketers will be his priority. Pension and insurance cover for ex-cricketers and families will be discussed. BCCI had last increased pension in 2015 and we’ll pitch for another hike.” The board had increased monthly gratis scheme or pension for all cricketers by 50 per cent subject to a maximum hike of `50,000 per month effective from Jan 2015.
Former India player and coach Anshuman Gaekwad defeated Kirti Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning side, by 90 votes to be elected as ICA representative nominee to BCCI Apex Council. Malhotra said Gaekwad will be ICA’s voice in BCCI. “Anshuman will represent us at the BCCI meeting. We’ll draw out plans for the welfare of the former players and Anshuman will present them before the BCCI.”
The ICA will be funded by the BCCI in the beginning but the association has to find ways to generate funds as onus will eventually be on it to run the affairs of the body. “It’s true, we’ve to generate funds in the future. We’ll seek funds from corporate sectors. We can also host charity dinner or organise charity matches for the purpose. But all that will be discussed once we meet and discuss the future strategies.”
The eight elected directors also included Hitesh Majumdar (secretary), V Krishnaswamy (treasurer), Rajesh Nayyar and Yajurvindra Singh as two ICA member representatives, Surender Khanna, ICA representative to the IPL governing council and Shantha Rangaswamy, female ICA representative nominee to BCCI Apex Council.