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Friday, November 19, 2004

change the cricket outlook

Some things just do not change – like the stripes of a tiger.

The enfant-terrible does not convert into a stubborn character over night but over a period of time. When a child misbehaves, it is the basic responsibility of its parents to admonish it – whether by chiding or by inflicting punishment is immaterial. The ultimate aim is to make it see reason and mend its ways. It is but natural for a child to throw tantrums but, because it looks a darling with its dimples or is a cuddly little creature is no reason to allow it all types of liberties. The message must pass on to it loud and clear that its antics do not evoke the kind of emotion that it once used to.

Yes – I mean the recent episode involving intentional wastes of time in that exhibition cricket match. Every one is now busy propping up the case with umpteen numbers of crutches but, the fact remains that the golden touch is lost. It happens in every one’s career – it happens when one reaches his level of incompetence. The wise one realizes in time that he has become a spent force and withdraws gracefully from the arena. After all, physical strain does take its toll – so why not give the machine some rest? That would be a sensible thing to do rather than trying to push you to the limits and wait for a catastrophe to happen. Players who are not able to perform are liabilities.

The worst part is that not just one hero but all four of them are involved in regular flop shows – viewers who urge them on to attain greater heights feel terribly let down when they fail to deliver.

While no one wants to pull down his hero from the pedestal, no one can tolerate mediocrity either. By achieving milestones one after another, the heroes glow with satisfaction and we, the mortals, feel proud of them and pray for more and more. It is for the player to understand when he has reached his zenith. Throwing tantrums and blaming factors other than one’s own ability smack of hypocrisy of the highest order.

No one is getting younger. It is agreed that records are made to be broken but one should not try to keep on playing hoping to break one more record. Ours is a large country with any number of really good players waiting in the wings – keeping the future scenario in mind, we have to take a bold decision of turning our attention elsewhere. We have to anoint the next generation players who may bring back memories of Kapil’s devils.

The time is just right for effecting such changes.

Let us be bold enough to accept facts and introduce what is required to bring back our lost glory. In the process, some individual may lose out on creating new records – that should not matter. What should matter is our national pride.


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