Cricket Coaches taking a beating during lockdown.
There is a saying that behind every successful cricketer is a coach who works hard behind the scenes with the players. During this coronavirus pandemic many people from the cricketing fraternity have got affected & the hard working coaches at the grassroot level are one of those who are facing a stressful time.
For a person who spends almost half of the day on the ground daily between cricket bats, balls, stumps and players on a soil whose smell is a like perfume to them, its indeed difficult to stay away from the game. Staying distant from the game is just one of the concerns which they are dealing with, the bigger concern for many coaches is the financial difficulties which they are going through. The coaches who work in small cricket academies, schools & colleges, the coaches who work independently on a student to student basis, most of them are sitting at home since last few months which has made things going difficult for them. There are many coaches who are sole earners of the family & we came across many such coaches who were forced to sell vegetables and daily essentials to support their families.
Cricketgraph checked with a few coaches at the grassroot level to get some insights about how they are dealing in lockdown and we got to know different perspectives from the coaches.
Sunil Mehra, who is an experienced coach with 20+ yrs of experience shared with Cricketgraph: “As a cricket coach, things are getting very difficult, since the beginning of lockdown, the schools and academies have kept shut, our feet have not touched the ground since months, we have not received our remuneration since last few months. When Sunil raised this concern for” Support to the Coaches” with one of the big authorities in the cricket fraternity, all they offered to such senior coaches was a month of ration which Sunil & other coaches felt humiliating. When asked further on how he manages during lockdown and what future looks like, Sunil shared “I am conducting online training sessions with a few students, even though it’s good to do something than nothing, it can never ever match the experience of live training on the ground being one on one with the player….Sunil further said, if things continue to be stressful like this and lockdown doesn’t end, I might have to take up a job outside cricket fraternity too”
The one thing which actually made it emotional was when Sunil Mehra shared “There are a few coaches at academy & school level who are selling vegetables and daily essentials to support their families, with no hopes or support around, these coaches have already left for their native place…
One more Coach from Saurashtra who also works in the railways shared “things are indeed difficult and I am dedicating my time in fight against coronavirus, as a western railway employee I am working in extra shifts while my academy has been closed since last 4 months with not a single rupee of revenue coming out of it…. Also once the lockdown is lifted, it’s not going to be easy as parents will be hesitant to send their kids immediately to practice with the fear of corona around.