‘Players are struggling to make ends meet’, Pakistan cricketer wants departmental cricket back

Pakistan pace bowler Zia-ul-Haq wants departmental cricket to return as players are struggling to make ends meet

Pakistan pace bowler Zia-ul-Haq: “Having the departments in place as it used to be meant that players were able to survive financially and now that those departments are gone, these players are struggling to make ends meet”

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Pakistan left-arm seamer Zia-ul-Haq has called for the return of departmental cricket, saying that “players are struggling to make ends meet”.

He noted that the departments used to offer players positions that paid well and ensured they were taken care of financially.

However, with the abolishment of departmental cricket, many talented cricketers are faced with the tough dilemma of trying to pursue their passion or looking for work elsewhere.

But, Zia pointed out that many of these players have a tough time getting normal jobs since they sacrifice their education in order to chase their dreams of becoming professional cricketers.

“For a start, the quality of competition has surely improved but obviously, the number of teams have reduced too. However, having the departments in place as it used to be meant that players were able to survive financially and now that those departments are gone, these players are struggling to make ends meet,” the 25-year-old told PakPassion.

“I am one of the lucky ones as at least I have some way to sustain myself financially as I am part of the 2nd XI for Southern Punjab in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy but my heart does go out for those who are not in this position.

“The domestic team contracts are meant for the season but if you are not selected during that season, then you have no source of income. In comparison, departments would offer a permanent position that could sustain you for a long time, regardless of whether you are in the side or not.

“This is a huge problem as very few cricketers are educated enough to find another source of employment if they lose their domestic contract. This is because when you have cricket as a profession, you have to invariably give up on your education. That immediately reduces your chances of finding regular jobs, should your domestic contract not be renewed or not materialize.

“So, if the player is unable to make headway in cricket after playing for a few years, then his chances of finding another job are severely limited due to lack of education and advancing age as well.”

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