Video of Pakistani cricketer-turned-driver goes viral; cricketers react

Indian Express

Indian Express

Author 2019-10-15 15:57:15

Indian Express 15 Oct 2019 13:27 PM

After the dissolving of departmental cricket for the betterment of first-class team structure, Pakistan domestic cricketer Fazal Subhan has been forced to drive a pickup truck for a living.

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The video of Pakistani first-class cricketer Fazal Subhan, who has turned into a mini-van pickup driver after the removal of departmental cricket in the country, has gone viral. The cricket fraternity reacted to the ‘heart-breaking’ video after the new system was introduced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Mohammad Hafeez questioned PCB for introducing the new model which has sought an overhaul of developmental cricket in the country.

The 38-year-old all-rounder wrote on Twitter, “So sad Really, Like him & (sic) Many others are suffering, New system will look after 200 players but 1000s of cricketers & management staff are unemployed because of this new model.”

“I don’t know who will take the responsibility of this unemployment of cricket fraternity, for all the victims,” he added.

The video was documented by Samaa TV journalist Shoaib Jatt, who explained how Fazal Subhan was plying his trade in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, country’s premier domestic first-class competition, not long ago. The 31-year-old also represented Pakistan in U-19 and A-sides and was once considered for the red-ball team.

“I worked so hard to play for Pakistan,” Fazal expressed his grief in the video “During departmental cricket, we were drawing a salary of Rs. 1,00,000, but since the departments have shut down we are down to Rs. 35,000, which is not enough to survive.”

“I am grateful that at least I have this job right now, because the way things are, who knows if I would even have this tomorrow. We have no choice; we have to do something for our children.”

Subhan, in his domestic career, has played 40 first-class matches, in which he has scored 2,301 runs at an average of 32.87. He further revealed that his transportation work is quite erratic and sometimes keeps him without any income for ten days.

“Yes, I drive this (pickup) for bhara (fare). This is seasonal work. Some days there is a lot of work, and sometimes there is nothing for 10 days,” he added.

The domestic structure of the PCB can be broken down into two main tournaments – Quaid-e-Azam Cup and the Patron’s Trophy. The Quaid-e-Azam Cup is based on regionally associated teams while the Patron’s Trophy comprises of teams based on departments such as organisations or companies like banks, gas and electricity suppliers.

In August, Pakistan’s federal cabinet took the decision to abolish departmental system and develop a structure similar to the one in Australia instead. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had himself dissolved departmental cricket to focus more on the six-regional first-class team structure for the betterment of the national side, but inadvertently, in their economic condition, the idea has backfired on thousands of Pakistani cricketers who have now fallen by the way side.

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