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‘Swiggy, Zomato Se Mangwa Lijiye’- Rot Runs Deep In Uttarakhand Cricket

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Even as Mumbai beat Uttarakhand in the Ranji Trophy Quarterfinals by a massive margin of 725 runs—a world record, very few knew that Mumbai’s opponents were out of competition a long ago. They were poorly looked after, moreover, their daily allowance was reduced to 100 rupees per day, lower than the daily wage of a laborer in state capital Dehradun. As a result, some of them were left hungry and distraught, wondering when would their DA arrive. When one of the players rushed to the team manager to enquire further, he was asked to order food on Swiggy/Zomato.

An investigative report in News 9 claims that players were not paid their due even as late as the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals against Mumbai and it showed on the field when they were all out for 69.

Moreover, when one of the players asked the team manager for his Daily Allowance (DA), he was told not to bother as the money would arrive on time. Till then he could order some thing on Swiggy/Zomato—popular food delivery apps, of course with his own money.

“Arre kyun baar baar yeh sawaal poochte rehte ho, bhai? Paise aa jaayenge … tab tak aap Swiggy-Zomato se mangva lijiye, na (why do you keep asking the same question? You’ll get money, till then order it over Swiggy-Zomato).”

“Officially, the DA for each Uttarakhand senior cricketer is Rs 1,500 and this is known to drop to Rs 1,000 and rise to Rs 2,000. The reality, however, is that for the last 12 months the cricketers have, on average, been given a paltry Rs 100 per day, ” the report said.

Interestingly, all of this was just a tip of iceberg as unavailablity of funds points to grassroot corruption which includes foul team selection and of course, poor money management. Moreover, selection of backroom staff and several financial irregularities were well documented in this investigation.

For instance, for the financial year ending March 31, 2021, the Uttarakhand Cricket Association (CAU) in its audit report had listed several items which raised eyebrows and make the players’ claims of not being paid their match fees or daily allowances in full all the more startling.

“Under the sub-heading ‘Tournament & Trial Camp Expenses,’ the CAU has claimed expenses of Rs 1,74,07,346 for food and catering and Rs 49,58,750 for daily allowances. Even more shockingly, there are expenses worth Rs 35 lakh for bananas and water bottles worth Rs 22 lakh. And players get Rs 100 per day as allowance.”

On Thursday, Mumbai beat Uttarakhand to set a world record. However, this investigation sheds light on the irregularities going in the Board for some time now. Players are now accusing the management for mental harassment.

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