First-class cricketers in dire financial straits | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:45 AM, March 26, 2020

First-class cricketers in dire financial straits

The coronavirus outbreak has taken a huge toll on human lives and impacted the economy worldwide. Major sporting events were halted around the globe a week ago, with clubs even around Europe facing bankruptcy and struggling to pay staff.

Even practice sessions and camps have been halted to prevent the spread of the virus.

When postponed events will continue is still shrouded in uncertainty and even events scheduled for months in the future are being reconsidered, especially after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 were postponed until next year.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan mentioned that the Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier League, which was postponed after the first round, may not resume before April 15. He said resuming after that date was more likely.

This uncertainty regarding the domestic league has already started to make a number of cricketers anxious during this perilous time as their livelihoods depend on such remuneration.

17 players are under the current BCB's central contract list while around 80-90 first-class cricketers are also paid monthly. However, apart from these players, there are numerous others whose prime source of income is the DPL.

That might lead to a tough time for such cricketers, whose only means of income will be halted in the wake of the pandemic.

A number of cricketers who are not under contract with the BCB are terrified, especially following the board president's assumed timeline.

However, all-rounder Alauddin Babu, whose services were acquired by Brothers Union, is hopeful that the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus will soon come to an end and everything will go back to being normal.

"I could not play the national league for the past two years due to injury. And that is why I was not included in the first-class contract list. I was eagerly looking forward to playing the DPL. But if it does not resume then I will obviously be in a fix. Still, I am hopeful that the effects of coronavirus will decrease and we can play the premier league," said Alauddin.

Leg-spinner Jubair Hossain, who made his international debut in 2014 but failed to make a name for himself in Bangladesh colors, was worried of losing another shot at proving himself while also mentioning how it would affect him financially.

"I did not get teams properly in the last few years. Even if I managed to get a team, most of the time I had to play for free. This time I joined Partex SC and I would also get match time. But before anything could happen, the league got halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. I did not even get the chance to prove myself. To top that, there is a financial drawback too," regretted Jubair.

Jubair also hoped that the BCB could extend their help towards out-of-national-contract players like him.

"I hope the BCB makes arrangements for players who are now out of the national side. If they could include us at least in the first-class contract list," sighed Jubair.

Thinking along the same line as Jubair are national discards Dhiman Ghosh and Tushar Imran. Both of them urged the BCB to come forward during this crisis. Dhiman mentioned: "I am in the first-class contract list. But there are a number of cricketers who aren't. In this crisis situation, the BCB should come forward at least considering the current scenario."

Tushar, a domestic colossus and Alauddin's teammate for the season in the DPL, is also concerned about players who are not under contract with the BCB.

"I am in the first-class contract list and there are around 80-90 players in the list. But there are at least 60-70 players outside this list who make their livelihood by playing this premier league every year. Can you think of their plight if the DPL does not resume?," Tushar wondered.

The 36-year-old also demanded the BCB to increase the number of players in the first-class contract list.

"The BCB should increase the number of players under the first-class contract list. At least the number of contracted players should range between 200-300. However, in this situation, it is not only the players who are suffering. Even the board is also being affected, but the BCB is a profitable organisation. Considering the overall situation, they need to increase the first-class contracted players' list. Only then can those players survive," explained Tushar.

Not only a question of survival of uncontracted players, the problems go deeper.

Although only the first round of country's premier fifty-over domestic league has been played, a number of players have already taken advance payments. This might create a problem if the league does not continue, which is why Tushar urged the BCB to chalk out a solution.

"I am playing for Brothers Union this year. Although I did not take any advance payment, there are players who already took 20-30 per cent or even 50-60 per cent of their payment. But only one round of the league was played and now if the clubs want their money back, then the players are bound to return it. This issue needs to be resolved. I am also requesting the board to give six months' salary in advance to players in the first-class contract list," concluded Tushar.

With conditions around the world showing no signs of improving and more countries reporting new cases, everyone needs to come forward in tackling this pandemic.

One such example was set by 27 national cricketers, who decided to donate 50 per cent of this month's salary to a government fund that aims to fight the pandemic.

But it is also true that not every cricketer is capable of such generous gestures. Some cricketers, especially ones not under contract with the BCB, might need someone looking out for them in such hazardous times.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News