While almost all of the private cricket academies in Dhaka have stopped cricketing activities after the Covid-19 outbreak leaving coaches and support staff struggling financially, the third-division club Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has taken an initiative to help people associated with them.
Considering the situation, the academy decided to form a COVID-19 fund to deliver remuneration of coaches on a regular basis. To do so, they asked the parents of current students, former students and club members to contribute.
“We have been trying to establish a good cricket club for 20-22 years. There are six support staff including a head coach, two assistant coaches, an office manager and two groundsmen, who have also been working hard for the club,” Abu Mohammad Sabur, the president of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy told UNB on Tuesday.
“Saif Hassan, one of our students, is now in the national team. More students of our club are part of several age-level teams of Bangladesh Cricket Board. We are happy for our students, and we believe many more will succeed. So the intention of making it a good cricket club prompted us to help the people during this crisis. We can’t leave those who teach our children to become good cricketers struggling. We don’t have any intention to make it a profitable company. In fact, it’s a non-profit organisation. We would like to keep helping them till the situation gets better,” he added.
Sabur said they spent about Tk 6-7 lakhs to renovate the club and practising facilities. About 75 students take the initiation of the game of cricket at the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy.
“I have close contact with many coaches who work for private cricket academies in Dhaka. Most of them are struggling due to the pandemic because of their academies are not paying them now. In contrast, the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has been paying salaries of all staff despite the pandemic. The academy authorities told us that they will keep doing this until the pandemic ends,” Sadiquzzaman Pintu, the head coach of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy, told UNB.
“More than 70 cricketers learn cricket at this academy. Many of them play in age-level cricket under Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and many of them play in the third divisional league as well. All facilities of the academy are free for the cricketers who play in the age-level or at the third divisional league. I don’t know if any academy in Dhaka does the same for their students,” Sadiquzzaman added.