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13 Apr 2021
The cricketers representing Bihar haven’t been paid match fees for the last two domestic seasons and now they are running out of patience. As the players from U-19, U-23 and senior team await their salaries, some of them need the money really bad.
“Every time I get a message on my phone I presume money has been deposited,” a desperate Prashant Singh, U-23 Bihar represent was quoted as saying to the Indian Express. “Last year I had to get my elder sister married. I borrowed money, hoping to repay when I get match fees. I lost my father in 2016. I haven’t received the money to date,” Singh continued adding that now he has an elder brother who is Covid-19 positive.
“Now my elder brother has tested positive for the coronavirus. I don’t know where I will get money from.”
While Prashant from Chhapra in Bihar’s Saran district is one case who needed the money more than others as he is the sole breadwinner and the Rs 8 Lakh due to him from the Board of Control for Cricket in India would have gone a long way to help him out. There are many more awaiting a message of the amount getting credited in their banks.
The Bihar Cricket Association President Rakesh Kumar Tiwary said that the invoices have been sent to the BCCI, but BCCI on its part said the vouchers sent from BCA had some problems and would require scrutiny.
“We had earlier sent invoices to BCCI but they informed us that there was an error in the documentation. All the invoices have been sent again (in March) and payment will be received soon,” Tiwary said.
On their part, players including Prashant say, “We have been hearing this for the last one year. ‘Money will be deposited next month’ is what we are told. Our financial situation is dire at the moment.” Although no Ranji Trophy had been held since the 2019-20 season, the Bihar players did play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 along with junior and women tournaments.
While match fees for cricketers vary for each format, around Rs 40,000 per day is given for the Ranji Trophy, while the match fees for the 50-over game is Rs 25,000, and Rs 12,500 for the T20 match. The Under-23 players are paid Rs 63,000 for a four-day game and Rs 17,500 for a one-day game.
At this hour of the pandemic, not only BCA denying their players the much needed financial help, but the richest cricket board in the world is not showing any concern for its domestic players from poor financial states. At the same time, it feeds on the commercial success from an IPL which has become an eyesore for its celebratory mood during the mourning that is the Covid-19 pandemic in India.