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Around 250 groundsmen not paid for months

Sports

April 4, 2020

KARACHI: Around 250 ground staff, including curators, working at 88 cricket venues across the country are facing severe financial crisis as they have not been paid their salaries for many months, ‘The News’ has learnt.

They were terminated by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on December 19, 2019, and their services were handed over to district and regional associations who were to look after these grounds.

Source said that PCB terminated the service of these workers when it introduced the new domestic structure and implemented some other policies last year.

The associations were running these venues, bearing the expenditures by letting private sector use them on rent twice or thrice a week. But because of the coronavirus situation in the country, there have been no cricket matches for many weeks which has left the associations unable to pay this workforce.

The cricket organisers at grassroots level say the situation is alarming. They have asked the PCB to take notice of this situation, saying that otherwise these 88 grounds would be destroyed and huge finances would be required to restore them.

A video of a groundsman went viral on social media a couple of days ago, in which he is appealing to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Waim Khan to do something for them, saying they have no means to arrange even food for their children. He says they have been waiting for salaries for months.

Former first class cricketers say that this is the first setback caused by the abolition of previous dometic structure. They said one could imagine the situation if these cricket grounds were destroyed. They said that PCB must resolve this issue in collaboration with the defunct associations.