HT Image
HT Image

Money comes only to the ?blessed?

My point of view is that cricket is damn lucrative, but only for the 11 out of a billion who actually make it to Team India, writes Aakash Chopra.
By Aakash Chopra | None
UPDATED ON APR 30, 2006 11:40 AM IST
 

Padoge likhoge banoge nawab, kheloge khudoge banoge kharaab” was what most of us were often told while growing up. I think this adage is soon going to be part of an ancient past.

In the new India, ambitious fathers (and mothers) of newborn sons already have a “foolproof ” career option in mind. Their precious child will be a cricketer. If not a Tendulkar, then a Pathan.

For most people, it isn’t just the money, there’s also the mesmeric pull and glamour of being a cricketer in a cricket-crazy nation. Many reason, you can’t go wrong with cricket. If he doesn’t make enough playing, he’ll make it up with adverts.

Gone are the days of parents forcing kids to be doctors or engineers. My fellow cricketers and I have heard this so often that we figured that almost everyone believes two things: One, that cricket is damn lucrative and two, the returns are far greater than the work put in.

Well, from my point of view, it’s great being a cricketer but conditions apply! It’s great to get paid to play, doing something most of us would do for free but the money is great only if you’re one of the blessed, the 11 out of a billion who actually make it to Team India.

Otherwise, millions dream of wearing National colours but don’t even make first-class level. They spend all their adolescence and youth sweating it out under an unforgiving sun and ignoring everything else, including studies, hoping to be among that blessed XI.

Sometimes a dream can be an obsessive goal with an end in sight, sometimes, the dream may no longer be a dream but you’ve left yourself no other option but to soldier on even as the mirage gets more blurred, even in your imagination. And finally, many realise that playing for India isn’t possible but carry on in the hope of getting a decent job through sports quota somewhere.

Most cricketers know nothing but cricket. Fifteen-odd years at school and college gets you a degree and generally a job, but the same number on the cricket field guarantees zilch.

And what’s worse, most organizations have done away with their sports quota and cricket teams. First-class cricketers across India share the same plight. They’re struggling big time, unlike here in England, where county players (despite cricket not being as big as football) do very well too.

In England, whether or not anyone plays cricket, the culture is such that they start working as soon as they’re old enough to earn. Either a part-time job at Tescos or something else, anything goes. In India, middle-class kids would rarely be caught working counters or waiting tables. There isn’t a job problem here and all the 16-year olds on my club’s junior team are working parttime. So they’re not solely dependent on cricket for a living.

In India, you either play or go the usual routine. Actually, I can’t even imagine what’s happening to mil lions who’ve never even got to firstclass level. Let’s be honest here. You spend decades training before firstclass level and most don’t earn a paisa all those years.

Then, just spare a thought for the career span of an earning cricketer -- about a decade? If he isn’t fouled out through injury that is! There are just no guarantees. So with no other qualification, you have to make enough in a very short span to last a lifetime. And therefore, most that make the cut quite rightly try and make hay while the sun shines.

Over the years, I’ve heard several disparaging remarks on the amount Indian players make. I don’t know why people carp. Any of the top XI professionals in their field in India would probably make as much. So why envy a cricketer’s earnings? They’ve gone through the grind, taken huge chances and got there against all odds. If the odds are stacked, the returns are generally substantial.

But is it worth for a kid from an average middle-class family to take that chance? It’s a tough call. I believe you should chase your dreams. But it’s an unforgiving world. So I suggest, keep a backup handy.

Don’t dismiss that degree.

This is the third year running that the writer is writing for HT about life in England over the cricketing summer. He can be reached on googly1909@yahoo.com

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The bridge has been named ‘Maitri Setu’ to symbolise growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh, the PMO statement read.(PTI)
The bridge has been named ‘Maitri Setu’ to symbolise growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh, the PMO statement read.(PTI)

PM Modi to inaugurate ‘Maitri Setu’, several development projects today

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 07:13 AM IST
The bridge has been built over Feni river which flows between Indian boundary in Tripura and Bangladesh, and has been named ‘Maitri Setu’ to symbolise growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh.
Close
The Delhi Police have issued a non-bailable warrant against Nikita Jacob.(@nikitajacob/Twitter )
The Delhi Police have issued a non-bailable warrant against Nikita Jacob.(@nikitajacob/Twitter )

Delhi court to hear Nikita Jacob, Shantanu Muluk's anticipatory bail plea

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 07:13 AM IST
Delhi Police are investigating a case related to the social media toolkit and Jacob has been accused of helping edit the document.
Close
Analysts say Indo-French naval cooperation will further deepen when French navy ships pay a visit to Kochi port in March. Photo courtesy: French ministry of armed forces(Photo courtesy: French ministry of armed forces)
Analysts say Indo-French naval cooperation will further deepen when French navy ships pay a visit to Kochi port in March. Photo courtesy: French ministry of armed forces(Photo courtesy: French ministry of armed forces)

Quad, France and UAE join hands in 2 naval exercises to dominate Indo-Pacific

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 07:00 AM IST
  • French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and finance minister Bruno Le Maire will be in Delhi next month while IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will be in France. At least 8 Rafale fighters will leave for India through mid-air refuelling by UAE between April 19 and April 23.
Close
Immigrants walk across the Gateway International Bridge into Mexico after being sent out of Texas by US. (AFP)
Immigrants walk across the Gateway International Bridge into Mexico after being sent out of Texas by US. (AFP)

Undocumented Indian immigrants hold USD15.5 billion in spending power

PTI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 05:48 AM IST
There are 4.2 million immigrants from Mexico who lack documentation. Together, they make up more than 40.8 percent of the 10.3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Close
Chief principal secretary to the CM, K Kailashnathan, respectively, to oversee the re-development of the iconic Sabarmati Ashram and its precincts.(AP/Ajit Solanki)
Chief principal secretary to the CM, K Kailashnathan, respectively, to oversee the re-development of the iconic Sabarmati Ashram and its precincts.(AP/Ajit Solanki)

Gujarat CM, his aide in charge of Gandhi ashram revamp panel

By Darshan Desai, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 06:26 AM IST
  • The order also said that Kailashnathan will head an executive council set up for the purpose,
Close
Addressing all the national officials of the Youth Congress, Rahul Gandhi hailed the workers as the “real power” of the party(ANI Photo)
Addressing all the national officials of the Youth Congress, Rahul Gandhi hailed the workers as the “real power” of the party(ANI Photo)

Help raise voice of the weak: Rahul to cadres

By Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 04:57 AM IST
  • Congress is like an ocean, Gandhi said in the national executive meeting of the IYC, and if anyone wants to return can be allowed to do so.
Close
Narendra Modi.(PTI)
Narendra Modi.(PTI)

PM to visit Bangladesh on March 26

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 06:27 AM IST
  • The two-day trip to Dhaka will be Modi’s first foreign visit in 15 months
Close
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts proceedings during the second part of the Budget session on Monday. PTI
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts proceedings during the second part of the Budget session on Monday. PTI

Rising fuel prices rock Parliament

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 04:29 AM IST
  • Parties urge Speaker, Chairman to reduce sessions amid polls; both Houses to begin at 11 am from Tuesday
Close
Policemen outside the house in Batla House where inspector Mohan Chand Shama was killed during a shootout. HT Archive
Policemen outside the house in Batla House where inspector Mohan Chand Shama was killed during a shootout. HT Archive

Batla House: Ariz Khan held guilty of killing inspector

By Richa Banka, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 03:26 AM IST
  • Additional sessions judge Sandeep Yadav convicted 35-year-old Khan, also known as Junaid, Salim and Anna
Close
Farm subsidies worth thousands of crores — including cheap insurance, fertilisers, credit and income transfers — still suffer from leakages because very little information about individual farmers is centrally available.(Bloomberg file photo)
Farm subsidies worth thousands of crores — including cheap insurance, fertilisers, credit and income transfers — still suffer from leakages because very little information about individual farmers is centrally available.(Bloomberg file photo)

Govt building ‘agri stack’ to give unique ID to every Indian farmer

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 05:43 AM IST
  • The database uses Aadhaar-based data generated from key farm sector programmes such as PM-KISAN.
Close
Passengers queue to get their documents verified before entering the IGI Airport amid the lockdown in New Delhi on May 30, 2020.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Passengers queue to get their documents verified before entering the IGI Airport amid the lockdown in New Delhi on May 30, 2020.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Prominent warnings at IGI against carrying bullets soon

By Anvit Srivastava, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 06:48 AM IST
  • Police data shows that some of the 522 passengers nabbed in last 5 years while carrying live bullets in their bags claimed they had done so unknowingly
Close
The Act mandates all private establishments in Haryana to provide 75% of new jobs to local candidates.(Representational photo)
The Act mandates all private establishments in Haryana to provide 75% of new jobs to local candidates.(Representational photo)

Is the Haryana Act legal?

By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 02:23 AM IST
  • Private firms will likely claim that the law interferes with their constitutional rights to carry on trade freely
Close
The apex court has agreed to re-examine the 50% ceiling on reservations in India while hearing a case on the validity of 10% separate reservations for Marathas(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The apex court has agreed to re-examine the 50% ceiling on reservations in India while hearing a case on the validity of 10% separate reservations for Marathas(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Why reservation may fail in levelling the field

By Roshan Kishore, Abhishek Jha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 01:58 AM IST
  • From SC-ST social groups, reservations have expanded to OBCs, economically weaker sections
Close
Rohingyas at Kiryani Talab in Jammu on Monday (HT Photo)
Rohingyas at Kiryani Talab in Jammu on Monday (HT Photo)

Fearing expulsion, Rohingyas in Jammu plead for protection

UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 05:04 AM IST
Over the weekend, police rounded up the 169 people from the city and took them to the Hiranagar jail detention centre
Close
The recovery in GST collections reflects the larger revival in the economy.(PTI)
The recovery in GST collections reflects the larger revival in the economy.(PTI)

Record GST collections expected in March, set to hit 1.30 lakh crore

By Rajeev Jayaswal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 05:37 AM IST
  • The revenue in March may cross the record Rs.1,19,875 crore collected in January by at least Rs.10,000 crore.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP