Babar Azam’s U-16 coach forced to sell fruit for survival

The recent updates say that Lahore Qalanders has offered him a job.

The global pandemic of Covid19’ has hit many, and sports fraternity is no exception.

Rana Sadiq, the Under-16 (Club level) coach of Pakistan’s limited-overs captain and batting star, Babar Azam, has become a fruit seller to mitigate the financial impact since all sports activities are suspended due to this pandemic.

Before the lockdown was imposed, Sadiq served as a coach in both, Zafar Memorial Cricket Club and Ghulam Qadir Club. However, due to the economic crunch, the clubs could not afford these employees and furloughed him along with others. He was left with no other option than to look elsewhere to make his living.

“I had been serving as a cricket coach for the past 15 years. I love the grass and the ground, and it’s a pleasure to see the young ones playing the game,” Sadiq shared while speaking to Geo News.

“I worked as a coach with a district U-19 team and a senior district grade 2 management. I have taught game skills to Babar Azam at the U-16 level, and he is now captaining Pakistan in limited-overs. All-rounder Hussain Talat and Agha Salman are amongst my students too.”

He said that despite such unprecedented times, he has to run his kitchen and carter the needs of his kids. Therefore rather than being a cricket coach, just sitting at home and waiting for the pandemic to end, he opted to be a fruit vendor.

Sadiq said that the local cricket community was already going through a tough time as Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decided to shut departmental cricket last year. Now, the pandemic crisis is nothing but fuel to the fire.

“The closure of departmental cricket had already made professionals unemployed, and now this COVID-19 is costing us our living,” he said.

The former coach pleaded the government to ease the lockdown so that he and many more like him can start over their professional activities and earn money with honor.

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