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3 Meals A Day, That’s The Least We Can Offer To Our National U 19 Cricket Team


By Prerna Bhandari

Ever thought that the U-19 Indian cricket team would have to fend for themselves to buy dinner amidst their matches? 

Sadly, the answer is yes! The Indian U 19 cricket team members witnessed a half a month money crunch. This was after having landed up amidst the wrath of demonetisation and a messed up bureaucracy!

The demonetisation woes of the Indian U 19 cricket team

When the U 19 cricket team get to pay a price for an unorganised cricket board!

The team members were playing a 5 one day international series against England when the money crunch struck them.

The team, along with their support staff and coach Rahul Dravid had to use their personal money to buy dinner! As their daily allowance of Rs 6800 didn’t reach them!

And here is what the officials had to say for this sorry state of affairs:

“BCCI does not have an official signatory to sign on daily allowance cheques – all payments need to have the approval of the secretary.”

Besides the messed up state of affairs of the BCCI, it claims to have not been able to cope up with the aftermath of demonetisation very well. The weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24000 seems to have hit them hard and so are unable to fund the basics for its players.

Struggles of BCCI

This incident highlights the vulnerable position of the Board Of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI). The board is undergoing a number of transitions post the removal of key names, including BCCI president Anurag Thakur. And transitions in the top circles of bureaucracy have thrived in hindering the basic upkeep of the playing squad.

And transitions in the top circles of bureaucracy have thrived in hindering the basic upkeep of the playing squad.

A member of the Under-19 team, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “We are managing somehow. During match-days, one meal is organised by the host association and breakfast is complimentary at the hotel. But the biggest problem is dinner. We are put up in a posh hotel in Mumbai where a sandwich costs over Rs 1,500. Players have no option but to step out for a meal after a tiring day on the field.”

It’s time these players receive their due.

This unusual glitch points out to the issue of insensitivity on the part of authorities towards sports in India. It further opens doors for a still larger issue at hand. If the state of a much-celebrated sport such as cricket in India suffers from such hassles, what would be the condition of other sportspersons?

If the state of a much-celebrated sport such as cricket in India suffers from such hassles, what would be the condition of other sportspersons?

On the other hand, English players make sure they meet their assignment deadlines

Matches and assignments go hand in hand for the English lads!

An interesting contrast to the Indian U 19 cricket team is their counterpart, the England U19 squad who have their life sorted. While they play the test series during the day, they attend “supervised study sessions” on every alternate non-playing day.

Thanks to the team manager and English and Wales cricket Board, the holistic development of the junior cricketers is taken care of, especially when they are on tour. Kudos to such a considerate board for looking after what they call as DA or ‘Dual Aspiration’ of its players.

BCCI, its clean up time

The board of control for cricket in India needs to undergo a quick revamping phase for they can no longer continue with such incompetency.

It is high time that the board acknowledges the efforts of the Lodha committee and complies to some of its recommendations. For if the board cannot find officials to sign daily allowances of its players, duh! Something’s seriously wrong here.

Remember that the trickle down effect of this inefficiency is way too fast.The board will not be able to hide its face if this mess touches the performance of the players.

Lets hope that the board mends its way before the players or cricket fans shout out loud,”BCCI,dont angry me.”

You may also like: In Good Times And In Bad, We Have Failed Indian Cricket Team As Fans

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