CHENNAI: The Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) has dropped plans to set up an office in Mumbai. Although the body for former international and first-class players wanted to function out of the city the BCCI is based in, lack of funds has forced a rethink. The decision to look at another city was taken at a meeting of the ICA in Mumbai on Monday.
Having made plans thinking that the initial sum sanctioned by the BCCI would be sufficient to have an office in Mumbai, the ICA had to retract after the board on Sunday decided to release Rs 2 crore. Although there is an assurance that more will be given in future, the ICA had to deviate from its original plan which was based on an estimated budget of Rs 10-Rs 12 crore.
"At the meeting we discussed where to have the office and decided that we can't afford one in Mumbai. From the day the ICA came into existence, about Rs 50 lakh has already been spent on various fronts. So effectively, we are left with Rs 1.5 crore. In a city like Mumbai, we will be on a shoestring budget with that sum," said ICA president Ashok Malhotra.
"So we are looking at places like Bengaluru, Kolkata or Ahmedabad. Most probably, it will be in Bengaluru. That's where our treasurer (V Krishnaswamy) is based. It will be comparatively cheaper than Mumbai to hire people or find accommodation in these places. With Rs 1.5 crore, we have to be careful about how we spend," added the former India batsman.
The meeting of the ICA on Monday was attended by five members of the ICA board - president Malhotra, secretary Hitesh Majumdar, treasurer Krishnaswamy and member representatives Rajesh Nayyar and Yajuvindra Singh. Also present were Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy - ICA representatives on the BCCI apex council - and Surinder Khanna, the ICA representative on the IPL governing council.
Malhotra informed that if things go according to plan, the new office will be up and running in about a month.
With nearly 1800 members already, this body continues to rely on BCCI funds to start a group insurance for the members. There are also pension plans.
Set up following a Supreme Court order, the ICA is supposed to generate own funds after an initial amount given by the BCCI.