UAE June 17, 2008

The poor sons of cricket

A fascinating report in The National highlights that while the IPL might bring massive rewards, most international players, especially those outside the top flight, live a more modest existence.
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A fascinating report in The National highlights that while the IPL might bring massive rewards, most international players, especially those outside the top flight, live a more modest existence.

UAE allrounder Khurram Khan reckons that it costs him money to play as he has to take unpaid leave from his job with Emirates airline.

"He might play a match, then be flying out on the night of the game to Melbourne on a 20-hour flight. Just imagine how hard that is. If he plays a four-day match, he would almost certainly then have a four-day job with his work to Melbourne, or Tokyo, or Jakarta.”

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • How I Make $300 a Day Posting Links Online on June 30, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    Cool post, just subscribed.

  • Arjun Chaudhuri on June 20, 2008, 7:23 GMT

    The UAE cricket officials should better the Stanford Twenty20 model. Instaed of luring foreigners to play in and also, for the coutry, they should try to develop local talent. Stanford Twenty20 in the West Indies does not involve any big or small foreign names, but is still a huge hit among the fans. It’s true that it’s yet to be seen the how much good it augurs for West Indies cricket.

    But how much has the astronomically rich UAE cricket officials done to make the Emirates (the nation, not the airlines) a cricketing power to recon with? Remember, the UAE squad for the ICC World Cup 1996 had only two locals – Captain Sultan Zarawani, whose only claim to fame in the Cup was being on his sun hat by Allan Donald, and Saeed-Al-Saffar, who barely manged a look-in in the final eleven.

  • Hari on June 20, 2008, 0:37 GMT

    I am an Indian immigrant in Australia. I am surprised to hear that an Emirates airline couldnt pay his employee playing for the national on leave, let alone sponsoring him. Here I can see another airline Fly Emirates sponsoring a local footy team in Melbourne. They even adopted a local footy statium. Come on its an oil rich country. They couldnt even give their employees a paid holiday ?

  • anonymous on June 19, 2008, 19:04 GMT

    The National recently ran another story about one of the young UAE players Shoaib Sarwar who actually quit his job two months ago to commit more time to cricket. Then he didn't even get picked for the Asia Cup squad! What a sorry state of affairs

  • uae life on June 19, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    It is a sad place i live in. now imagine the future everyone is talking bad about the board which is without a doubt true. uae is a country which has no politics except for cricket due to the bukhtir regime kick out everyone in there and start building the future of uae cricket develop the game among the nationals whether its starting from division 5 but its a fresh start and the game needs to develop in the country then only the finance will come and the crowds will be full of the country men i pray for the day to come and it will come when the board will change and when we will have a full crowd for a game for uae not ecb but uae with all nationals .............

  • Sharon Cabraal on June 19, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    The article heading should be re-phrased as - "Poor Sons of a Very Rich Father"!

  • George Ponnambalam on June 19, 2008, 5:08 GMT

    "UAE all rounder Khurram Khan reckons that it costs him money to play as he has to take unpaid leave from his job with Emirates airline." Mr Bukhatir did you hear that? shocking and shameful. Mr Mazhar Khan has the gall to utter the following words: “Some say, why doesn’t the board support it? But it is not a small amount. On average, a cricketer earns $2-3,000 per month..." Shame on you Mr Mazhar Khan - you people paid millions of US Dollars to retired foreign cricketers as their pension even though they had NEVER played for UAE but you can't spare funds to sustain your OWN 15 man national squad. Please don't try to fool the outside world. You are trying to act the part of the begger when you could very well dissolve the CBFS and divert the funds to your national squad's upkeep. What's the purpose of maintaining funds in the CBFS now? How many international tournaments has it organized in the past 5 years? For whom are you people keeping these funds? Dissolve CBFS for heavens sake.

  • Buwaneka Lewke Bandara on June 19, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    It is interesting that we constantly discuss about having democracy in USA cricket - wonder whether they hold proper elections to the UAE Cricket Board. How is it in a domocracy its head Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is President for Life? Is he trying to imitate Robert Mugabe? From the time I know Mr Bukhatir is the head of UAE cricket. Is this some kind of record?

  • Conrad Francis on June 18, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    It is upto Martin Williamson and Cricinfo who have the welfare of minor cricketing nations at heart to bring the true situation of UAE cricket into the public domain as it is obvious with the headstart UAE cricket got from conducting international tournaments in the 1980s and 1990s it should have been the No 1 ICC Associate Member by now. However something has gone wrong somewhere and all is not well in the Emirates. It seems Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is avoiding the public as I have seen several such complaints against his Board in other media and he never bothers to answer these allegations. Simple question: If Abdul Rahman Bukhatir could splurge millions of dollars into the pockets of former Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan players - the majority of whom he had never even met before - in the name of retirement benefits, why on earth can't he ask the 15 member UAE squad to quit their jobs and provide them with a monthly salary enabling them to concentrate on their cricket full time?

  • zonks on June 18, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    So true. Having lived and played cricket in the UAE for the last 7 years, I have seen the way the game is run. To say that Mazher Khan, Abdul Rahman Bukhatirr and his ponies are just stealing whatever the ICC provides would be an understatement. It is like a cashier stealing cash from the till, as the chances of somebody conducting an investigation are small.

    Could you ever imagine that the Head quarters of the the International Cricket Council would be based in a country (a very rich one at that) where the game receives no financial backing whatsoever.

    I played all my school cricket on sand and stone, and 7 years on from that, I see school tournaments (are there any left?) still being played on patches of sand and stone.

    And the 'administrators' talk about trying to do all they can to benefit the game. A few of the players in the UAE squad for the Asia Cup don't deserve to be there.

    All I can say is,get rid of the people who run the Emirates Cricket Board.

  • How I Make $300 a Day Posting Links Online on June 30, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    Cool post, just subscribed.

  • Arjun Chaudhuri on June 20, 2008, 7:23 GMT

    The UAE cricket officials should better the Stanford Twenty20 model. Instaed of luring foreigners to play in and also, for the coutry, they should try to develop local talent. Stanford Twenty20 in the West Indies does not involve any big or small foreign names, but is still a huge hit among the fans. It’s true that it’s yet to be seen the how much good it augurs for West Indies cricket.

    But how much has the astronomically rich UAE cricket officials done to make the Emirates (the nation, not the airlines) a cricketing power to recon with? Remember, the UAE squad for the ICC World Cup 1996 had only two locals – Captain Sultan Zarawani, whose only claim to fame in the Cup was being on his sun hat by Allan Donald, and Saeed-Al-Saffar, who barely manged a look-in in the final eleven.

  • Hari on June 20, 2008, 0:37 GMT

    I am an Indian immigrant in Australia. I am surprised to hear that an Emirates airline couldnt pay his employee playing for the national on leave, let alone sponsoring him. Here I can see another airline Fly Emirates sponsoring a local footy team in Melbourne. They even adopted a local footy statium. Come on its an oil rich country. They couldnt even give their employees a paid holiday ?

  • anonymous on June 19, 2008, 19:04 GMT

    The National recently ran another story about one of the young UAE players Shoaib Sarwar who actually quit his job two months ago to commit more time to cricket. Then he didn't even get picked for the Asia Cup squad! What a sorry state of affairs

  • uae life on June 19, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    It is a sad place i live in. now imagine the future everyone is talking bad about the board which is without a doubt true. uae is a country which has no politics except for cricket due to the bukhtir regime kick out everyone in there and start building the future of uae cricket develop the game among the nationals whether its starting from division 5 but its a fresh start and the game needs to develop in the country then only the finance will come and the crowds will be full of the country men i pray for the day to come and it will come when the board will change and when we will have a full crowd for a game for uae not ecb but uae with all nationals .............

  • Sharon Cabraal on June 19, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    The article heading should be re-phrased as - "Poor Sons of a Very Rich Father"!

  • George Ponnambalam on June 19, 2008, 5:08 GMT

    "UAE all rounder Khurram Khan reckons that it costs him money to play as he has to take unpaid leave from his job with Emirates airline." Mr Bukhatir did you hear that? shocking and shameful. Mr Mazhar Khan has the gall to utter the following words: “Some say, why doesn’t the board support it? But it is not a small amount. On average, a cricketer earns $2-3,000 per month..." Shame on you Mr Mazhar Khan - you people paid millions of US Dollars to retired foreign cricketers as their pension even though they had NEVER played for UAE but you can't spare funds to sustain your OWN 15 man national squad. Please don't try to fool the outside world. You are trying to act the part of the begger when you could very well dissolve the CBFS and divert the funds to your national squad's upkeep. What's the purpose of maintaining funds in the CBFS now? How many international tournaments has it organized in the past 5 years? For whom are you people keeping these funds? Dissolve CBFS for heavens sake.

  • Buwaneka Lewke Bandara on June 19, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    It is interesting that we constantly discuss about having democracy in USA cricket - wonder whether they hold proper elections to the UAE Cricket Board. How is it in a domocracy its head Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is President for Life? Is he trying to imitate Robert Mugabe? From the time I know Mr Bukhatir is the head of UAE cricket. Is this some kind of record?

  • Conrad Francis on June 18, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    It is upto Martin Williamson and Cricinfo who have the welfare of minor cricketing nations at heart to bring the true situation of UAE cricket into the public domain as it is obvious with the headstart UAE cricket got from conducting international tournaments in the 1980s and 1990s it should have been the No 1 ICC Associate Member by now. However something has gone wrong somewhere and all is not well in the Emirates. It seems Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is avoiding the public as I have seen several such complaints against his Board in other media and he never bothers to answer these allegations. Simple question: If Abdul Rahman Bukhatir could splurge millions of dollars into the pockets of former Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan players - the majority of whom he had never even met before - in the name of retirement benefits, why on earth can't he ask the 15 member UAE squad to quit their jobs and provide them with a monthly salary enabling them to concentrate on their cricket full time?

  • zonks on June 18, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    So true. Having lived and played cricket in the UAE for the last 7 years, I have seen the way the game is run. To say that Mazher Khan, Abdul Rahman Bukhatirr and his ponies are just stealing whatever the ICC provides would be an understatement. It is like a cashier stealing cash from the till, as the chances of somebody conducting an investigation are small.

    Could you ever imagine that the Head quarters of the the International Cricket Council would be based in a country (a very rich one at that) where the game receives no financial backing whatsoever.

    I played all my school cricket on sand and stone, and 7 years on from that, I see school tournaments (are there any left?) still being played on patches of sand and stone.

    And the 'administrators' talk about trying to do all they can to benefit the game. A few of the players in the UAE squad for the Asia Cup don't deserve to be there.

    All I can say is,get rid of the people who run the Emirates Cricket Board.

  • unknown on June 18, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    mr.sinniah im not sure if you live in uae but i am a uae national and you are 100 percent correct great words seriously bukhatir and mazhar are both just stealer's who do not want the emirates to come up because they are scared the government will be involved so then they wont keep there posts its a dirty game.

  • Bruno Silvapulle on June 17, 2008, 21:03 GMT

    Why wasn't Abdul Rahman Bukhatir interested in pitting the Emirates national team in those Triangular Internationals that so frequented the 1980s and 1990s. If that happened UAE would have been in front of Kenya by now. It was not the case as he was only interested in gate receipts and he knew the UAE team was not a crowd puller.

  • Sinniah Thiagalingam on June 17, 2008, 20:58 GMT

    We always felt the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series [CBFS]was a carrot to get India / Pakistan and Sri Lanka into Sharjah. For such gimmicks they could splurge millions of dollars but they don't have the finances to pay salaries of their own players. With their wealth they could ask the 15 man squad to quit their jobs and pay for their upkeep. Such hypocrisy. If he was really interested Abdul Rahman Bukhatir would have created a benefit fund for his own players before thinking of helping the former Indians / Pakistanis and Sri Lankan Test players. No, Abdul Rahman Bukhatir was never interested in popularizing cricket among native Emirates. Otherwise why don't native Emirates constitute the majority of the national team? Bukhatir was only interested in cricket as a business venture - pay benefits for subcontinent teams / get them to play in front of thousands and collect the gate receipts. That was all he was interested - not broad basing the game among natives.

  • P.B. Rambukwella on June 17, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    I was amused and angered to hear UAE Cricket Board official Mazhar Khan's comments. Can you believe that Abdul Rahman Bukhatir's cricket board don't have the finances to fully professionalize its 15 man squad? As you may recall Abdul Rahman Bukhatir gave away millions of dollars to former Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan players under the Cricketers Benefit Fund series and now his Cricket Board complains it does not have the finances to support its own players! Mazhar Khan and Abdul Rahman Bukhatir owes us an explanation.

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  • P.B. Rambukwella on June 17, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    I was amused and angered to hear UAE Cricket Board official Mazhar Khan's comments. Can you believe that Abdul Rahman Bukhatir's cricket board don't have the finances to fully professionalize its 15 man squad? As you may recall Abdul Rahman Bukhatir gave away millions of dollars to former Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan players under the Cricketers Benefit Fund series and now his Cricket Board complains it does not have the finances to support its own players! Mazhar Khan and Abdul Rahman Bukhatir owes us an explanation.

  • Sinniah Thiagalingam on June 17, 2008, 20:58 GMT

    We always felt the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series [CBFS]was a carrot to get India / Pakistan and Sri Lanka into Sharjah. For such gimmicks they could splurge millions of dollars but they don't have the finances to pay salaries of their own players. With their wealth they could ask the 15 man squad to quit their jobs and pay for their upkeep. Such hypocrisy. If he was really interested Abdul Rahman Bukhatir would have created a benefit fund for his own players before thinking of helping the former Indians / Pakistanis and Sri Lankan Test players. No, Abdul Rahman Bukhatir was never interested in popularizing cricket among native Emirates. Otherwise why don't native Emirates constitute the majority of the national team? Bukhatir was only interested in cricket as a business venture - pay benefits for subcontinent teams / get them to play in front of thousands and collect the gate receipts. That was all he was interested - not broad basing the game among natives.

  • Bruno Silvapulle on June 17, 2008, 21:03 GMT

    Why wasn't Abdul Rahman Bukhatir interested in pitting the Emirates national team in those Triangular Internationals that so frequented the 1980s and 1990s. If that happened UAE would have been in front of Kenya by now. It was not the case as he was only interested in gate receipts and he knew the UAE team was not a crowd puller.

  • unknown on June 18, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    mr.sinniah im not sure if you live in uae but i am a uae national and you are 100 percent correct great words seriously bukhatir and mazhar are both just stealer's who do not want the emirates to come up because they are scared the government will be involved so then they wont keep there posts its a dirty game.

  • zonks on June 18, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    So true. Having lived and played cricket in the UAE for the last 7 years, I have seen the way the game is run. To say that Mazher Khan, Abdul Rahman Bukhatirr and his ponies are just stealing whatever the ICC provides would be an understatement. It is like a cashier stealing cash from the till, as the chances of somebody conducting an investigation are small.

    Could you ever imagine that the Head quarters of the the International Cricket Council would be based in a country (a very rich one at that) where the game receives no financial backing whatsoever.

    I played all my school cricket on sand and stone, and 7 years on from that, I see school tournaments (are there any left?) still being played on patches of sand and stone.

    And the 'administrators' talk about trying to do all they can to benefit the game. A few of the players in the UAE squad for the Asia Cup don't deserve to be there.

    All I can say is,get rid of the people who run the Emirates Cricket Board.

  • Conrad Francis on June 18, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    It is upto Martin Williamson and Cricinfo who have the welfare of minor cricketing nations at heart to bring the true situation of UAE cricket into the public domain as it is obvious with the headstart UAE cricket got from conducting international tournaments in the 1980s and 1990s it should have been the No 1 ICC Associate Member by now. However something has gone wrong somewhere and all is not well in the Emirates. It seems Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is avoiding the public as I have seen several such complaints against his Board in other media and he never bothers to answer these allegations. Simple question: If Abdul Rahman Bukhatir could splurge millions of dollars into the pockets of former Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan players - the majority of whom he had never even met before - in the name of retirement benefits, why on earth can't he ask the 15 member UAE squad to quit their jobs and provide them with a monthly salary enabling them to concentrate on their cricket full time?

  • Buwaneka Lewke Bandara on June 19, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    It is interesting that we constantly discuss about having democracy in USA cricket - wonder whether they hold proper elections to the UAE Cricket Board. How is it in a domocracy its head Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is President for Life? Is he trying to imitate Robert Mugabe? From the time I know Mr Bukhatir is the head of UAE cricket. Is this some kind of record?

  • George Ponnambalam on June 19, 2008, 5:08 GMT

    "UAE all rounder Khurram Khan reckons that it costs him money to play as he has to take unpaid leave from his job with Emirates airline." Mr Bukhatir did you hear that? shocking and shameful. Mr Mazhar Khan has the gall to utter the following words: “Some say, why doesn’t the board support it? But it is not a small amount. On average, a cricketer earns $2-3,000 per month..." Shame on you Mr Mazhar Khan - you people paid millions of US Dollars to retired foreign cricketers as their pension even though they had NEVER played for UAE but you can't spare funds to sustain your OWN 15 man national squad. Please don't try to fool the outside world. You are trying to act the part of the begger when you could very well dissolve the CBFS and divert the funds to your national squad's upkeep. What's the purpose of maintaining funds in the CBFS now? How many international tournaments has it organized in the past 5 years? For whom are you people keeping these funds? Dissolve CBFS for heavens sake.

  • Sharon Cabraal on June 19, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    The article heading should be re-phrased as - "Poor Sons of a Very Rich Father"!

  • uae life on June 19, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    It is a sad place i live in. now imagine the future everyone is talking bad about the board which is without a doubt true. uae is a country which has no politics except for cricket due to the bukhtir regime kick out everyone in there and start building the future of uae cricket develop the game among the nationals whether its starting from division 5 but its a fresh start and the game needs to develop in the country then only the finance will come and the crowds will be full of the country men i pray for the day to come and it will come when the board will change and when we will have a full crowd for a game for uae not ecb but uae with all nationals .............