December 3, 2011

Footballers spruce up stadium for cricket match

Nikita Bastian

The financial imbalance between cricket and other sports in India is well documented. Cricketers are revered for the most part, while other sportsmen tend to go by unnoticed. The scene at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, ahead of the fourth ODI between India and West Indies, was a case in point.

The Anand XI Football Club, winners of Indore's top football league, were hired on Monday to clean seats at the cricket stadium in preparation for the one-dayer. The 15 footballers are being paid Rs 3 per seat for their services, Mumbai Mirror reported. "We have taken up this job to help buy football kits," the team's coach, Ramchandra Chauhan, told the newspaper. "Most players on the team come from extremely poor backgrounds and have no option but to double up as daily wage labourers to make ends meet."

The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association media manager, Ashok Kumat, said the state board did not know that the hired helpers were footballers. “The association has hired professional cleaners for the job of sprucing up the stadium. As far our knowledge goes, this [that a football team was hired] isn't true.”

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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