Another chance on the big stage for Dutch, Zimbabwean cricketers before returning to their day jobs

For Zimbabwe’s cricketers in the T20 World Cup, the match against India in Melbourne on Sunday is a chance to play against a star-studded team on the big stage, before they return to the ambiguity of cricket and their day’s work. .

The Netherlands, which play South Africa in Adelaide on the same day, have contracted cricketers in their ranks who serve as consultants. He is in Australia on leave without pay. The team’s manager had to return home in the middle of the tournament as his office insisted on returning to work.

The Dutch have been knocked out of the race for the semi-finals, while Zimbabwe’s chances of progress are slim, even if they beat India.

“Our managers don’t get paid. One of them had to go to work because his office was calling him. So, we had to call in a new manager. We have two players, Stephen Myberg and Ann Teja, who work in a consultancy company and are playing the World Cup without pay. They will be back in their office when the tournament is over,” said Netherlands seamer Paul Van Meeckeren.

Zimbabwe, like all other teams in the competition, are staying in posh hotels in Australia. But when they get home, some of them will return to daily life. Last week, the team won a last-ball win against Pakistan but their off-the-field life is unlikely to change.

“I don’t want to be named because we don’t want sympathy, but one of my teammates is a car wash, another a delivery man and a third makes a living selling sporting goods,” said a Zimbabwean player. Indian Express,

The subject of player contracts has been a poignant and controversial topic for Zimbabweans, who have gone on strike for their pay in the past. Their match against India on Sunday is between the rich and the underprivileged of cricket.

Zimbabwe players are paid a match fee of $1500 (about Rs 1.23 lakh) per Test. A centrally contracted Indian cricketer charges Rs 15 lakh for each test match.

The team’s next series has run into scheduling issues. Another Zimbabwean cricketer said, “We are going to play Afghanistan later this year, but now we have been told that the series is doubtful because all the Afghanistan players will play different T20 leagues.”

Uncertainty is an ongoing theme in Zimbabwean cricket.

In 2018, the International Cricket Council had to grant bail to Zimbabwe Cricket as the board was unable to pay the players’ match fees and had outstanding bills. With top teams rarely sending full-strength teams to tour the country, Zimbabwe cricket’s earnings from media rights are limited. this year, Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma He was rested when India traveled to Zimbabwe for an ODI series after six years.

A member of the support staff recalled how at one point, when players had protested against non-payment of match fees, the cricket board did not have money to provide water and cricket balls for practice.

“Some of us even borrowed money to pay the school fees of our children,” said one player.

Dutch cricketers also employ jobs to meet their needs.

They also work as coaches or coaches in academies, and look for opportunities to play league cricket abroad, such as in England and New Zealand.

Those who were in contention but missed the World Cup squad reported to return to work immediately.

The Netherlands team is also relatively young as many leave the sport when they find a better paying job.

“We have seen players retire from Dutch cricket at a very young age because they get job opportunities or they have to complete their studies and go into jobs. We don’t have old people in the team – we don’t have people over 28 years old who are playing and working for the national team. They’re probably in the Dutch set-up by 23-24 and they’re done and have a full-time job,” van Meeckeren said.

When his contract for England in Somerset expired, Van Meeckeren started delivering food himself. He worked for Uber Eats and then as a part-time salesman before being signed by Gloucestershire for two years.

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