The world has been shaken by the coronavirus outbreak. People are dying in the thousands and the whole world has come to a standstill as they fight against the ferocious pandemic.
27 men's national team cricketers had already formed a fund to battle the coronavirus in Bangladesh. They donated half of their one month's salary to the fund to help the affected people. Now, it was the turn of the first-class cricketers.
91 first-class cricketers have decided to donate half of their one month's salary to Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh's (Cwab) fund to battle the coronavirus. Cwab's General Secretary Debabrata Paul confirmed the news to The Business Standard (TBS) and said that the collective amount will rise up to around 8 to 10 lacs. Debabrata told TBS, "Nurul Hasan Sohan, Tushar Imran, Jahurul Islam, Enamul Haque Jr collectively took this initiative. Besides that, we have a group where the initiative has been praised and many have participated willingly. The amount might rise up to around 8 to 10 lacs taka."
To provide the first-class cricketers with financial security, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) puts around 80-90 players under a first-class contract. There are three grades in this contract with the topmost grade getting paid Tk 28,750 per month with the second and third grade receiving Tk 23,000 and Tk 17, 250 respectively.
In such a moment when all forms of cricket are suspended, it is a bold move from the first-class cricketers as this might be their only source of income in this period. But even then, they have decided to stand beside the helpless in a moment of crisis.
The initiative was first taken by Nurul Hasan Sohan and Tushar Imran. Later on, Jahurul Islam and Enamul Haque Jr joined in and started working on it. The cricketers agreed to donate half of their one month's salary and afterward came to the decision of donating the money to Cwab's fund.
One of the initiators, Nurul Hasan Sohan told TBS, "As the situation is currently, everyone is trying to help everyone. So we decided after talking to everyone that it would be great if we joined hands and donated. Maybe they are helping people on their own but collectively it would be a big amount, maybe around Tk 10-12 lacs. We took the initiative from that point of view."
Sohan also added that for many players this salary was their last resort but still came forward to help. He said, "For many cricketers, this salary is very important. Especially for those who are not well-established yet. All forms of cricket are suspended and in such a situation, even Tk 10-15 thousand is important. It is very tough for many to contribute but still, they came forward."
Enamul Haque Jr told TBS, "The planning was done yesterday. (Nurul Hasan) Sohan, Tushar (Imran) Bhai asked me over the phone about the initiative. Then a few of us talked over the phone, Jahurul was there and then we collectively took the decision. Everyone is trying to help and thus we felt that we should too. The people who live hand to mouth are in a dire situation and so the cricketers came forward to help them."
First-class veteran Tushar Imran told TBS that this initiative was taken from the idea of standing beside the people. He said, "It is a great initiative. We want to stand beside people. The main thing is that we are being able to help people. Another big thing is that we have managed to convince 91 cricketers. Our lowest salary is probably Tk 18,000. Donating half of that should not be that much of a problem. Everyone should come forward in such a situation."
The players are trying their best to battle the coronavirus outbreak from their place. Players like Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, and Taskin Ahmed are already helping unemployed people on their own. The fund from 27 national team cricketers have also raised more than Tk 26 lacs to battle the outbreak.