COVID-19: PCB to help cricketers, match officials, scorers

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday announced it will help and support first-class cricketers and other stakeholders facing hardships in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, resulting in no local cricket activity.

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.

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 1 January 2013 (should have approximately eight years of service)

*Those falling in the aforementioned categories should presently be unemployed

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The first-class cricketers, who will meet the criteria, will receive PKR25,000. The match officials will get PKR15,000, while the scorers and grounds staff will be given PKR10,000.

Those wishing to benefit from the one-time scheme are advised to contact the PCB at welfare@pcb.com.pk from May 4 to May 14. This will give the PCB sufficient time to carry out its diligence before releasing funds to the eligible candidates before Eid Al-Fitr.

Respecting privacy of the applicants, the PCB has assured the identities will be treated in strict confidence and the PCB will not make any announcement in relation to who and how many benefitted from this one-time scheme.

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 Al-Fitr. It was the right time to support cricketers, match officials, scorers and grounds staff in this hour of need.

“It is also heartening to see our cricketers coming out and supporting the people in need by auctioning their prized possessions and through various charities. While I am sure many players are making donations in private, I want to applaud and appreciate Shahid Afridi, Rumman Raees and Azhar Ali who have been at the forefront of this noble cause and have been doing outstanding work.”

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This is the PCB’s latest initiative to contribute in these challenging times after it had earlier contributed more than PKR10million in the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Fund with half of the share came from the centrally contracted men and women cricketers and the PCB staffers.

In March, the PCB turned Karachi’s Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre into a sanctuary for the paramedic staff, working at a makeshift hospital at Expo Centre.

Process to apply for financial support through the Domestic Players Welfare Fund:

– An applicant can e-mail at welfare@pcb.com.pk to get application form.

– The complete form, with all the necessary information, is to be submitted before May 14.

– Those who cannot apply through e-mail can contact via WhatsApp on 03034445879.

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