Why the Richest Cricket Body in the World hires Gig Workers?

Posted 31-May -2019

Freelancers are those who are self-employed and are hired by organizations because of their specialized skills for a short-term period. They have the exceptional ability to work alone or work with a team as required. As a result, we see freelancers in law, medicine and as independent consultants across fields like HR, marketing and finance.
But are freelancers limited only to the corporate world? What about freelancers in the world of cricket?

At Noble House, we are celebrating the spirit of freelancers and their stories of perseverance. So we decided to poke around the cricketing world to see how the gig economy has impacted the world of cricket. Let us examine the world’s richest cricket body- Board of Control for Cricket in India.
According to a 2018 report by Outlook India, BCCI hires as many as 500 freelancers for the domestic season of cricket in India. These freelancers include match officials like umpires, referees and video analysts.

According to another report by Mid Day, BCCI was shelling out Rs 5.5 cr to pay the salaries of the 12 member support staff in 2013. Since then, the staff has been pruned down to six permanent employees and six members on an assignment based freelance employment. Integrating freelancers into the world of cricket has been a blessing for the BCCI as the gig economy has given them the opportunity to improve their profits and scale down when not in operation.

500 match officials cannot be employed on a permanent basis if their work is seasonal. So, BCCI hires gig workers from PSUs on a temporary basis. According to the report by Outlook India, 97 umpires and 58 match referees were hired from various PSUs around the country to supplement the existing workforce employed by the BCCI. While commentators of the game are contracted to networks which telecast the games, both equipment and crew were outsourced to freelancers to decrease overheads. Praveen Amre, a popular freelance batting coach has said that he would not give up his freelance job to become a selector- which is a full-time job. He reasons that he earns well by being a gig worker.

Summarising the top 3 reasons why BCCI chose to hire gig workers:

  • Saving overheads and maintaining the headcount are problems often faced by larger organisations.
  • During the domestic season, there is a spike in activities and temporary vacancies which arise need to be filled by skilled resources.
  • Organizations agree that cutting the cost can also be counted as a form of revenue generation.

  • The perception of freelancing as a career is improving. And corporates covet freelancers due to the specialized skills that they bring to the table and the lesser stress on their resources. These gig workers are agile, ambitious, perseverant and highly disciplined. These traits make them highly desirable in start-ups as well as big corporates. Even the richest cricket body couldn’t resist hiring freelancers.

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