Cricket’s unthoughtful ‘senior’
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh believes the big difference between players of his generation and the ones today is how they dealt with seniors in the team, specifically in the ‘sense of respect towards seniors’ and appreciating their work.
“The youngsters say anything to anyone now,” Singh told Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball vice-captain, during a social media chat hosted by the latter.
According to Yuvraj Singh, the other key difference between the two generations is that the current India team has a very small group of seniors leading- captain Virat Kohli and Sharma in the main – so the youngsters ‘have very less guys to look up to’.
However, former India fast bowler and commentator Chetan Sharma, who is the first hat-trick bowler in the World Cup in 1987, begs to differ.
Speaking exclusively, he said,
“I fail to convince myself that Indian team has hardly any senior players. Had that been the case, we would not have been performing so well in all forms of cricket.”
“Considering the limited span of cricketers’ life on the field of play, whom to call seniors?”
“Shikhar Dhawan has been playing cricket since last 7-8 years, Jasprit Bumrah came in the team in 2016, KL Rahul made his debut in 2014. Even Mohammad Shami has been playing since last seven years. They are all senior players. All these players are mentor and nursing the new comers in the team.”
“Only dressing room cannot be the sole criteria to judge the seniority of the players. At this age (54 years) I get guidance from Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar etc.”
Another first class cricketer from Mumbai, who did not wish to be named, says, “Why does Yuvraj speak it now? Is it because he has earned good money and retired from the game? During his career how many players he educated?”
“Monkey-gate, spot fixing, ball tampering have all been done by the senior players. Then why to blame the young lot that they don’t listen to seniors?” he asked.
Venkat Sunderam, the former first-class cricketer who played for Delhi and Tamil Nadu and became a selector for Delhi and pitch committee chairman for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), says, “Indian cricket needs mentors. All first class teams should have mentors. People with integrity and credibility and honesty should be appointed and the BCCI should start with this.”
India’s former off-break bowler M. Venkataramana, who shares his birthday with master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s (April 24), says, “It is very simple. Cricket has evolved from 1970 to till date. Every decade of players thinks differently. So you fall in which generation of player is your fate.”
“Anyone who is born before you and plays before your time is considered senior. People have different views,” he added. “IPL is a two sided sharp sword. There are positives and negatives.”
Irfan Sait, the coach who has produced Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Mayank Agarwal (all have played for the country) and several other women cricketers, and now preparing few other Virat Kohlis for India, says,
“There appears to be a paradigm shift in the modern day cricket. Bearing in mind our Indian Culture it is quite expected that the juniors address the seniors respectfully and the seniors play their part of being role models.”
“However, thanks to the liberalization and the ‘after- parties’ the thin line of responsibility and respect has been swept aside. No more is the captain / vice-captain a FATHER FIGURE! Now, it is about Yari Dosti.”
“At KIOC we are not just teaching cricket alone. We are also imparting life lessons and soft skills. We fully endorse that it is just not enough to play well but we need to respect the team mates, officials, grounds men and everyone who is associated with this glorious sport.”
“The values of education are grilled into our trainees each and every day. We lay a lot of stress on DISCIPLINE AND CHARACTER BUILDING. Each day we deliver a motivational or value based lecture before the commencement of the cricket session. That perhaps is what attracts so many parents to our academy. We emphasize that everyone who joins may not become a TOP cricketer but will surely have a great chance to be a good human being,” he signed off.
Kuldeep Yadav’s childhood coach, Kapil Pandey believes that all new players in the team now have good characters and this they learn from their parents.
Krishna Rao, a senior coach in Vijayawada said, “Mayank Agarwal’s maiden double hundred (against South Africa at Visakhapatnam, October 2019) followed by another double century (vs. Bangladesh at Indore the following month) was all because he got support from seniors.”
Former India fast bowler Yograj Singh did not oppose his son saying there are no senior players to educate the young lot, but claimed that it is the senior players, who have ruined the game. Speaking exclusively, he said, “There have been some very good seniors and some evil players who have destroyed the careers of players who could have been the legend of the game!”
“Manipulation dirty and filthy politics in cricket have been our character of the players and administrators.”
“I am proud of my son, at least he is coming out what the real truth is. Tell me one senior who is taking care of the youngsters. Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri and the selectors should be ashamed of themselves for bring Indian cricket thinking to the lowest levels. Where newcomers are treated so shabbily.”
“This all have been started by one man and that is MS Dhoni. Lot more truth will come out now. What happened after 2011 World Cup is on the cards for everybody to see it. Rohit Sharma is great example of how the seniors should be treated the youngster,” Yograj, 62, concluded.