Kolkata: Sushanta Salu has been coming to the Eden Gardens everyday for the last 15 years, tending to the ground and preparing the pitch. But while the Eden is in prime shape, Salu is facing a crisis.
He, alongwith his colleagues, hasn't drawn his salary for the last three months — a paltry sum of Rs 130 per day.
Sushanta has sent a letter along with 19 other members of the ground staff to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), threatening to commit suicide if they are not inducted in the CAB's pay-roll — a request that has fallen on deaf ears.
"Our families are completely stressed after we stopped getting our salaries. We don't know what to do. We have written to the CAB saying that we will go on a fast unto death until this is resolved," says Salu.
The CAB, though, believes that outsourcing these jobs, as has been the case so far, is commercially more viable.
CAB Joint Secretary, Amitabho Banerjee says, "The whole world works on outsourcing. The main problem is monetary. If they are asking for money, then okay, we will give you the money."
Uncertainty awaits Sushanta, who along with the others is still hopeful that the Provident Fund promised to them a decade ago will come through someday.
"We were told that Rs 300 would be cut per month from our salaries and CAB would pay the same amount. But it has been 8-9 years now, and not even Rs 100 has been deposited in our Provident Fund accounts," says Salu.
It's a revolt on the cricket field, not by the players or by the officials but by the ground-staff who are considered to be a quintessential part of cricket and who have been neglected by CAB since 1999.