Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya revealed how the state association has made all the payments, distributed prize money to the players, without waiting for the BCCI to disburse funds.
In a live chat with Indranil Basu on Sportkeeda’s Facebook page, Dalmiya said, “We have been forthcoming and we have tried to help them [umpires and scorers associated with CAB] with their medical arrangements. We have also been beside the groundsmen...because at the end of the day, at the grassroots, they are the pillars.”
And, rightly so, the CAB has cleared all their dues and distributed the Ranji Trophy runners-up prize money of Rs 1 crore to the Bengal players even though the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the BCCI releasing the amount.
Mental health of players is paramount: Dalmiya
Avishek Dalmiya, son of late ICC and BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya also spoke about how CAB is taking care of the mental and physical well-being of their players through online sessions. They've also involved former India batsman VVS Laxman in the process.
“We were the first ones to do that, we engaged VVS Laxman, we could also engage our video analyst...we have also hired yoga instructors to keep them fit, and later on, we are also having physical training classes,” Dalmiya added.
The analyst, Prasenjit Mukherjee, was asked to prepare videos of matches from last season to help coaches work on the players. A video on physical training has also been prepared and will later be shown to the players through video conferencing.
Dalmiya junior believes that this will help keep the team bonding intact, with the players cooped up at their respective apartments for close to five months now.
Dalmiya revealed that the state association has also donated Rs 25 lakhs to the West Bengal State Emergency Relief Fund. Also, the space under the gallery of blocks E, F, G, H & J at Eden Gardens has been converted into a quarantine centre for Kolkata Police personnel.