CHENNAI: The pandemic has had a major impact on sports, including cricket. The economic effect is hard to ignore as players and support staff are forced to accept pay cuts. Closer home, the story is no different. Several players in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) league are at the receiving end with regards to income.
Though salaried players do not have to worry, contracted players have to make do with the family’s income — or the lack of it — or depend on other source of income. The India Pistons team is hit hard by the pandemic. For three months, they have not been able to pay contracted players. Most of the teams in the first division offer contracts from July to June.
“When there is no match, income of the contracted players gets affected,” said Srinivasan, sports administrator of India Pistons. “Salaries are put on hold since the lockdown. It might be the case across the clubs. In our club, we have many college students who play on a contract basis who are without income now.” Pistons has a young team in the first division with a majority of players under 23.
On an average, their contracted players receive around Rs 35,000 per month. One of the players says he has to minimise the family budget to overcome this phase. “Initially, there was a delay in payment for April. Payments for May, June, July have been put on hold. Contracted players with central government jobs might be in a better position to take care of their families. However, for a large section of players, who depend solely on their income from playing cricket, are hit hard,” said a Pistons’ player on condition of anonymity.