Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all sports in Bangladesh has come to a halt.
The biggest and most popular sport in the country, cricket, has been no exception with the last match happening over five months ago, in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL).
With only one round of the 50-over domestic competition possible before the shutdown by the government, local cricketers have been cut off from their only source of income.
Enamul Haque Jnr
Bangladesh national team offspinner, Enamul Haque Jnr spoke to The Business Standard (TBS) about the challenges he and other domestic cricketers have been facing during such difficult times.
"I know that around 70-80 cricketers are having to survive by borrowing money from others," he said.
"Some of us were lucky to have gotten paid the first 20-25 per cent of our yearly money from our clubs after just one round in the DPL. But not all clubs were able to do that," the 33-year-old said.
Enamul also added that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had said that it would help the players out if require: "The board president (Nazmul Hossain Papon) had said that they would help but not everyone has been able to get that financial help as far as I know."
The left-arm off-spinner expressed that since money was not coming from cricket, the lifestyle and planning of the players had to change drastically.
"Suppose you were making 20 lacs before, but now that income has come down to five lacs, then you'd have to plan things differently and that has been one of the biggest challenges that we have been dealing with," Enamul explained.
"This is the new normal that we are dealing with now and we do not know when cricket can or will return back in the country. Things are starting to slowly get better, so let's hope that cricket can be back soon," he concluded.
Former national team captain Shahriar Nafees also spoke to TBS about how he and the cricketers have been coping during this pandemic.
He detailed on how he has received only 10 per cent of his yearly money from his DPL club: "Since only one round of the DPL was possible, different clubs have given different amounts of money to the players. Some clubs have managed to pay 20-25 per cent or even higher. Whereas some other cricketers have not been so lucky and have not received their payment at all. I got 10 per cent of my yearly payment from my club in March."
The left-handed top-order batsman revealed that he has had to survive on his savings but was worried about the future if cricket did not return.
"It has almost been half a year that there is no cricket and the longer there is no cricket, the worse the situation will get. I might have been fortunate enough to survive on my savings and take care of my family so far. But not all cricketers have been so lucky, and this situation is nothing short of a crisis," the 35-year-old explained.
"You cannot really blame the clubs either because they are not getting any money and are having a difficult time surviving at the moment. So it would be unrealistic to expect a payment from them now unless cricket comes back," he concluded.
One cricketer who did not want to be named told The Business Standard that he had left Dhaka and went to his home town with his family as the cost of living in the capital was not possible for him to bear.
"I have moved out of Dhaka into my hometown with my wife and kids as it's not possible to afford living there without any cricket and any income from it," he said.
"I have also heard of another cricketer who has had to sell his car to ensure he has money to live his daily life," he added.
The Bangladesh cricket team are set to tour Sri Lanka next month, but although the nationally contracted cricketers have not been as badly affected by the pandemic, the domestic cricketers are struggling.
The struggle will continue for them until local cricket is back.
And for that to return, the Covid-19 situation in the country will have to have drastically improved as the wait continues.