The IPL postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic has affected the daily-wage workers more and the people below poverty-line more, who have lost their jobs and livelihoods. Baskar, who stays in Chennai, is amongst the millions to have borne the brunt of the lucrative tournament resulting in being deferred indefinitely. He is the official cobbler of the two-time champions Chennai Super Kings and the Chidambaram Stadium.
While the IPL still has a chance of moving forward later this year, a final call by the BCCI is yet to be taken. Several nations have come forward, intending to host the world’s largest cricketing league; however, the Indian Cricket Board has prioritised the safety of their players. If the T20 World Cup gets postponed, then it can open up the possibility of holding the tournament.
As far as Baskar’s profession is concerned, he is a cobbler, sitting outside the Chepauk Stadium and received INR 1000 under normal circumstances and that the CSK players took excellent care of him. He further claimed that he received INR 25000 aside from receiving from CSK captain MS Dhoni respectively. Contrary to that, the cobbler expressed his grief at his current state. Additionally, his children are also struggling and he seems to not have enough savings as of now.
Some of the top cricketing stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden, Dwayne Bravo, and Saeed Anwar have resorted for his help for their footwear while he is good friends with the CSK skipper.
“I got Rs 1,000 per match and CSK players took good care of me. At the end of the season, players and coaches would pool in and hand it over to me. Last year, I got around Rs 25,000, apart from what Dhoni gave me separately. But this year…”
My sons are without any job and have their families now. I had some savings and managed with that. Had I known such a day will come, I would have saved more.” Baskar said as quoted by IANS.
“If cricket doesn’t return soon, I will be gone” : Baskar
He also revealed that the previous week Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan sent him INR 25000 with which he brought groceries for the family. The old cobbler said with a feeling of distress that it is becoming hard to survive by the day and that if no cricket or IPL takes place, he would be in a dire situation.
“Last week Irfan Pathan sent some money (Rs 25,000). I bought groceries for the family. Since there was no work, I had borrowed money and have to pay it back. I don’t know how I will survive. If cricket doesn’t return soon, I will be gone.”
“I struggled when there were no IPL matches in Chennai for two years” : Baskar
Baskar went on to say that he endured similar struggles in 2018 when all the matches stood suspended at the Chennai due to the protests over Cauvery issue. His voice broke down, having currently undergoing torrid times again.
“I struggled when there were no IPL matches in Chennai for two years. In 2018, I was looking forward to it when something happened and matches were gone (due to protests over the Cauvery water issue). Now this.” he added.