COVID-19: Pakistan domestic cricketers worried about their future
Statesman Report
LAHORE: Domestic cricketers in Pakistan have started to worry about their future. If grounds remain empty because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it will become harder for them to provide for their families.
Players who are currently receiving around PKR45 thousand after tax cuts are now looking back to the days of the departmental teams’ format. Even though the domestic season began on September, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) began payments in October. The PCB is yet to pay the dues even after the mistake had been pointed out.
The ongoing coronovirus has either caused sports events to be postponed or cancelled. The new system of domestic cricket in Pakistan had already left many cricketers unemployed. Various coaches and ground staff members were also left jobless in the process.
Players, who were lucky enough to gain a domestic contract, are now worried about their expenses.
Many senior players have expressed their unhappiness at being provided the same basic salary and match fees as rookie players which has not been taken into consideration by the PCB.
The PCB had initially claimed that the players will not be impacted by the new format which has not been the case. The Pakistan One-Day Cup has already been postponed because of the outbreak, whereas the National T20 Cup is also likely to be impacted.
A player, on the request of anonymity, revealed that the PCB had initially stated that the players would receive an annual income of PKR2 million. However, a player who participates in all matches of each domestic tournament can only receive PKR1.8 million. Very few players participate in all three formats of the sport. It should be noted that the match fees for a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match is PKR75 thousand whereas the match fees for a One-Day or T20 is PKR40 thousand each.
A first-class player revealed that the cricketers received a hefty paycheck from their departments on a monthly basis which is no longer the case. The players are left to wonder how they would be able to take care of their expenses in the off-season with their meagre salaries. The players are refraining from going on a strike because of a fear that the PCB will take away their contracts.