IPL & The Gig Economy

Posted 16-May -2019

The gig economy is huge and is everywhere!

Globalization of work, global trade and innovation in technology have been the driving forces behind the rise of the gig economy. Many industries have adopted the new era of the gig economy where organizations can pick quality talent across the world for dedicated tasks and employees have the freedom to choose how to work, where to work and when to work.

This win-win setup has offered a solution to many problems that are quite prevalent in the world of work, such as skills gap, hiring and retrenchment, work-life balance, to name a few.
While various industries like engineering, manufacturing, marketing, hospitality are leveraging the much-discussed gig economy, the sports industry is not behind especially – cricket.

And, now as cricket diversifies into various formats and leagues around the world, gig employees or freelancers have made their mark on India’s most popular sporting event – Indian Premier League (IPL).
The goal of a freelancer is to be their own boss, choose their projects and then do great work so that their demand and wage increase with every gig. They have an entrepreneurial mindset and a desire to prove themselves through their work. Freelancers who play in the IPL also have a chance for a revival of their international careers; especially this year as the World Cup starts only weeks after the IPL Finale.

Cricketers like Shane Watson, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle, who are over 35 years old have chosen to adopt the freelance lifestyle. They are ageing and may not be fit for the international tournaments but their motivation and willingness to learn every day keep them on top form. That’s the reason they are the most valuable players of the IPL tournament.

When cricketers turn freelance, it gives them the flexibility to choose their gigs i.e. when they want to play and where. They may or may not be attached to any board or organization, and they utilize their freedom by playing in Tournaments and Leagues in India, Australia and the Caribbean. This freedom of choice has seen a number of cricketers taking the plunge into freelancing. Andre Russell, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson are some of the highest paid freelancers who earn premium contracts. And it must be said that without these players, IPL would have been a dull affair.

The gig economy has had a positive impact on cricket and gig employees/freelancers from other industries too can take away some positives to being on top of their game.

1. Now, older and experienced players can continue to pursue their passion as well as have a chance of a comeback into the international team – Convert your experience to expertise and work for top brands looking for highly skilled talent like you.

2. Freelancers are not bound to their native cricket boards, but can play around the world in various leagues – The best perk of freelancing is work from anywhere. Your availability is not bounded with geography, you can be a global talent and travel across the world.

3. Younger players under 18 who aren’t under members of the senior team can prove their mettle and enter the official squad. – Millennials have the opportunity to diversify their skills quickly by working with multiple brands.

The gig economy is often described as a large and rapidly growing phenomenon. Freelancers are becoming active across all industries – retail sales, education, IT and now cricket. These workers are not choosing gigs for lack of better options. These gigs offer more than just compensation – autonomy and flexibility in their work and private life – Good Work for these cricketers. And, with the flexibility to play around the world in various conditions to challenge themselves and learn every day is Good Life for them.

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