With cricket matches suspended in the city owing to the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a lot of local umpires and scorers, who are solely dependent on it, are facing financial problems.
However, thanks to a group of umpires, led by former Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) managing committee member and ex-BCCI umpire Ganesh Iyer, they are finding a ray of hope.
The group of umpires have created a fund specifically for the umpires and scorers whose livelihood is dependent on local matches.
“We, umpires have formed a group ‘Lending a Hand’ to help umpires and scorers whose livelihood depends on cricket," Iyer told PTI on Thursday.
“We appealed to the members to contribute voluntarily. We have also identified those scorers and umpires, whose livelihood is dependent on local matches.
“Till now we have been successful in raising Rs 2.5 lakh and the process of raising funds will continue. A few of the current Apex Council members of the Mumbai Cricket Association have also chipped in generously."
According to Iyer, each of the scorers and umpires would be given Rs 3,000 individually.
“By Friday, 47 umpires and 15 scorers — a total 62 persons, would have been given the first amount of Rs 3000 each, the process of payment began yesterday through credits directly into their bank accounts and the next instalments (would be given) in next 7-10 days," he said.
Iyer said few umpires and scorers, whose children are well settled, did not take the money and asked to help the needy first.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to 50 deaths in the country so far and infected 2,000 people, has brought cricketing activity across the globe to a halt.
Globally, the deadly disease has claimed over 40,000 lives.