CHENNAI: The Indian Cricketers’ Association (ICA) isn’t sure whether to be happy or not at the BCCI’s decision to grant the body an initial sum of Rs 2 crore, after it had submitted a budget of Rs 10-Rs 12 crore. This decision was taken at the board’s apex council meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. It was also said that if and when required, the sum would be increased.
While officials of the body constituted at the direction of the Supreme Court appear satisfied in the sense that something is better than nothing, they also say that it’s important to have a dialogue with the BCCI regarding the need to increase this amount. As per the court order, the initial funding for ICA has to come from BCCI. Later on, it has to generate its own funds.
“I’d say it’s good that a start has been made. But probably we have to speak to them (BCCI officials) about the amount. When we put up a budget of Rs 10-Rs 12 crore, Rs 2 crore might not suffice. We have to speak and see what we can do about it. But I’m happy in the sense that we have got a platform to start,” Ashok Malhotra, the ICA president, told this newspaper.
The ICA’s Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy are part of the BCCI apex council as player representatives and attended Sunday’s meeting. “Yes it’s Rs 2 crore to begin with for ICA and the amount will be increased as per requirements,” said an apex council member. Malhotra said that the ICA will have a meeting in Mumbai on Monday to decide the next step. “Ultimately, we have to fend for ourselves,” he said. As per plans, the ICA will have an office in Mumbai since it is registered as an entity in that city. Setting up the office and hiring personnel to run it are part of the expenditures estimated in the budget of around Rs 12 crore.
The real bulk of the money the ICA wants is for medical insurance of its members. According to Malhotra, it already has around 1800 members. Former international cricketers — men and women — and first-class players who have played a minimum of 10 matches at the Ranji Trophy level or its equivalent are eligible to become members. If officials are to be believed, the number of members is going to increase in the near future.