Ground staff, off-pitch unsung heroes | Cricket News

Bangalore: Extended KSCA Alur StadiumGround staff were woken up by torrential rain on June 6, just hours before the incident, at three grounds of the facility, 26 km from the city center. Ranji Trophy In the semifinals. About 20 km from Alur Cricket grounds only The venue of the fourth semi-final match – Rajanukunte – was no different. At Alur, the ground cover was like a shallow lake, and a gust of wind blew away part of a makeshift television camera tower.
Starting their day at 4 a.m., the on-field staff must work hard to ensure that the matches do not start ahead of schedule. This was not just a separate incident; The Karnataka State Cricket Association has appointed 128 ground staff members across the state. June has been the hottest month in the state for the last decade KSCA The Ranji Trophy knockout round was successful with minor difficulties due to rain.
Since the onset of the epidemic, the format of the BCCI’s domestic calendar has changed, competitions have been held in a bio-safe environment and the schedule of competitions has changed significantly.
As Karnataka is the only state with many first-class cricket venues and has grown to five grounds in Bangalore alone, it has become a preferred venue for hosting matches. In the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, KSCA hosted 114 national level matches in seven tournaments. Day-night Test matches against Sri Lanka, rain-hit T20 internationals and practice scores between India and South Africa in June, National Cricket Academy and KSCA League matches. Most of these matches have been held with great risk of rain, which has been intensified by occasional unseasonal rains.

Curator at M Chinnaswamy Stadium and Ranji Trophy winner Madhya Pradesh on the field. (Photo: TOI)
In all of this, the commitment of the ground staff remains with seven women. He’s an unsung hero for the association, working tirelessly to bring the show to the streets. Drops of sweat, sometimes wet bones, waking up early in the morning, ground staff made sure that KSCA has hosted more home matches than any other organization in the country in the last two seasons.
“We could not have organized so many matches without the tireless efforts of the ground staff. We are very proud of him, ”said Prashant Rao, Chief Curator, KSCA. They know their work and are proud of what they do. Even at the peak of Covid-19, except for those who tested positive, the rest were available as needed. ,
Rao pointed out that while the working conditions and salaries are being increased, the employees have also increased their level of effort and commitment.
“Their work culture has changed radically in the last decade. I attribute this to the influx of youth, the facilities provided by KSCA and the structured pay scale implemented last year, ”he explained.
On most match days, staff are on the field at 7.30am and do not leave an hour before the last ball is thrown, although their official working hours are from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
So, what is driving them? “Satisfaction,” said Shivkumar GK, a groundsman with more than 17 years of experience.
“It simply came to our notice then. When it is not raining, we are like oiled machines that go around for our work. But the real challenge begins when you have to prepare the ground in the rain. We spend more hours and more time in the rain. Most of us get colds, headaches and fevers, but we just take one pill and go back to work. “When we host BCCI matches, it is a matter of pride that we can contribute to the start of the game despite the rain,” he said.
According to Shivkumar, the best award is the appreciation of the players and coaches.
After the Ranji Trophy final at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the winning team from Madhya Pradesh came to us and thanked us. “Coach Chandrakant Pandit told us that we have a big part in his success. It was a happy moment for us. ”
Acknowledging the contribution of the ground staff, KSCA Secretary Santosh Menon said, “They are the biggest contributing factor in organizing the back-to-back competition for us. If we have hosted many events in the last few seasons, most of the credit goes to the ground staff.
HR policy for ground staff
Till last year, the ground staff was coming under the category of casual labor, even those with more than 25 years of experience were getting a salary of Rs 15,000. But one incident changed the organization’s approach to structured policy.
Recalling the incident that changed the attitude of the association, Santosh Menon explained, “A groundsman wanted to buy a bike, but could not get a loan due to non-payment. His plight shook us and made us think.
Regarding the policy, Menon explained, “In April last year, we created an HR policy with a hierarchical system for them. In addition, we offered them a road map, which helps in career growth. Eligible candidates can reach the position of Supervisor and Manager. We encourage them to get an education so that they can take the BCCI exam. We have also decided to help educate their children. ”
BCCI matches in Karnataka
In 2020-21: 52
In 2021-22: 63
Number of ground staff: 128
Male: 121
Women: 7

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