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 and 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. 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 Monday, 4 May, to Thursday, 14 May. 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.