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Cricket commentators facing salary crisis as sponsorships dry up

Commentary could be one of the worst-hit fields during the COVID-19 pandemic
Commentary could be one of the worst-hit fields during the COVID-19 pandemic
Modified 02 May 2020

'No play, no pay' is the new mantra in sporting circles these days. And the lack of cricket matches is going to hit even the (BCCI) commentators hard, as they are unlikely to get paid.

Sources told Sportskeeda on Friday that the BCCI commentators, who are paid on a series to series basis, aren't going to get remunerated during this forced break. Some of them are earning around one-sixth of their regular income through special chat shows, but that is clearly not going to be enough.

The most terrifying part is that the live shows are also struggling to find sponsors, and so commentators are facing the prospect of even bigger pay cuts. 

The situation could improve if the IPL takes place in the September-October window, but if it doesn't, the situation could turn pretty dire.

Understandably, even the Indian cricket team members are missing out on their match fees. Moreover, there is a threat of them not getting any pay hikes in the foreseeable future.

"All the sectors have taken the hit, how can cricket be different?" a board official said. 

Even commentators like Sunil Gavaskar are staring at pay cuts

Commentators' pay is based on the numbers of hours and days they work. Now, due to the lack of live matches and subsequent reduction in numbers of work hours, the experts are being paid on a pro-rata basis.

"There aren’t many sponsors in the market due to the lockdown," the source said, while adding that former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar is the highest-paid commentator in the list. 
No live cricket means no money for commentators
No live cricket means no money for commentators

Against this sordid backdrop, it is interesting to note that a few individuals are making the most of the situation. Though there has been a steep drop in advertisements on different media, the popularity of the top cricketers hasn't been affected. The sponsors are therefore using some of the stars to promote their brands on social media.

"Since there isn't much spending happening anywhere, promoting brands through their ambassadors on social media is another way to make good use of money. A lot of Instagram chats are happening because of the commitments these cricketers have with their sponsors," the source said. 
Published 02 May 2020, 02:59 IST
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