If India doesn't have a full-fledged 2020-21 domestic season, or end up having a truncated one, it will have a major financial impact on many people - men, women, age-group players, associations, umpires, groundspersons, scorers… the list is long. We spoke to a cross-section of such stakeholders to get an idea.
Jaydev Shah President of Saurashtra Cricket Associations and former Saurashtra captain
Financially, it will be a massive loss for the cricketers, yes. But we're talking about lives here. If you aren't around, how does it matter how much money you lose? Looking at the bigger picture, if there is no cricket for one season, we should accept it. What happens if a player is injured for six to eight months? It's a similar situation.
IPL in UAE is far different to a Ranji Trophy in India. The money involved there feeds the cricket economy in India. And hence they're going out all guns to get testing measures in place and all sorts of health and safety protocols have been put in place. Despite that, if we are seeing a few cases like we have, what is the guarantee a bubble in India won't have any cases?
The lack of domestic cricket can be a hindrance to someone aged 18 or 22, because they lose out on a year of Under-19 or Under-23 cricket. But if a player is good enough, she will definitely play the next higher grade of cricket. Yes, a gap year isn't ideal but we have to be resilient and get through the tough time. We have to play the waiting game. Big corporations across the world have been affected, India continues to record the highest number of Covid cases. It's not just sportsmen who are affected, so many people have lost their jobs and livelihood, so many people had their businesses shut for many months and are slowly bouncing back, so cricket too will bounce back. For now, we can't just think about the smaller picture.
Robin Bist Rajasthan veteran who has shifted to Sikkim for the 2020-21 season
Someone playing one Test match earns INR 15 lakh. Someone toiling away in the domestic circuit from July to March also earns INR 15 lakh. It's difficult to plan finances as a domestic cricketer, because you're almost always having to factor in for money that has been promised but hasn't come in. Our payments from the central revenue is almost always late. Our match fees for the Ranji Trophy was hiked to INR 35,000 per day two seasons ago. There was talk of this amount being hiked, even doubled, last year, but we haven't heard anything yet.
Domestic cricketers too need a contract system that puts the onus on merit. Not all domestic cricketers have sports quota or private sector jobs. Some of them have a hand-to-mouth existence, because beyond cricket, you have to take care of your health, dietary requirements. Many have family commitments, home loans, car loans. When we don't receive monthly payments, how do we plan?
We need better communication from the board as well as timely settlement of money.
Look at international cricketers, they are taken care of by their contracts, but even they are not earning match fees. Those who don't play IPL don't earn anything. And even in the IPL, except for 15-16 players who are crore-plus earners, most of them earn in lakhs
Ratnakar Shetty Former BCCI general manager (game development)
It's very easy to say the BCCI should compensate players and everyone else, but how?
The BCCI is also facing problems because there has been no bilateral series. The only good thing is that the IPL is happening, and we hope everything goes well. But how will the state units compensate the players? No team has been picked, so which players will you compensate? There is no association where even a practice match or a camp has taken place since March. There are no contracts.
I fully sympathise, not just with the players but all the stakeholders, for everyone it is a source of livelihood. But nothing has happened since March. The clubs that own the grounds don't have any income. It has affected everybody, from the BCCI down to the groundspersons.
Look at international cricketers, they are taken care of by their contracts, but even they are not earning match fees. Those who don't play IPL don't earn anything. And even in the IPL, except for 15-16 players who are crore-plus earners, most of them earn in lakhs.
Lonzang Tenzing President, Sikkim Cricket Association
We don't have a head coach yet because without any money coming in from the board, we can't afford to hire a coaching set-up, so we will have to make do with local coaches for the time being. Even our professional players will just earn the match fees paid by the BCCI. We were paid INR 10 crore during the 2019-20 domestic season by the board, and we've had to make do with that money. We are a small association, and we have only one ground, so the cost is lower than an association with many grounds. Financially, it will be a massive challenge, but we'll get to that when we hear something concrete (from the BCCI about the calendar).
There have been a few Covid-19 cases in the Chennai Super Kings camp despite all the precautions•Twitter/Chennai Super Kings
Raktim Sadhu BCCI-empanelled Cricket Association of Bengal scorer
It is a bit of a crisis for many of us. We get paid, in a full season, around INR 3 lakh (INR 10,000 per game). If we get even half of that amount, it will be something, because otherwise people will starve. The second rung of scorers in Bengal, and umpires, depend entirely on the club-cricket circuit, and there has been nothing there so far this year. Some centres, like Mumbai and Bangalore, have a lot of club matches, but scorers in other places, say Odisha or Assam, won't earn much because they don't have such leagues.
Two of our Bengal scorers - Suryakanta Panda and Tanay Panti - have been selected to score at the IPL (in a team of 13). So they will be fine, because everything is free for them there, and they will get paid well. But for the rest of us, it's getting worse.