Hanged by the media, Randiv would have learnt an important lesson
Would I have bowled a no-ball to deny a batsman a century? Probably not. But, in the end, I think the young off-spinner Randiv was hanged by the media --- and would have learnt an important lesson.india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 23:34 IST
Increasingly in the cricket world, the top-down style of management where a few decide for the many is becoming outdated, if the South African experience is anything to go by. I was a guest speaker at the three-day annual conference of Cricket South Africa, attended by the stakeholders in the game, players, coaches, officials, doctors and trainers.
It is a concept worth emulating in our country where many problems arise because of a lack of communication among those involved with the game. A four-year plan is drawn up (the last one was in 2007) so everyone knows where the game is going, what his role in it is as individual and part of a larger family. The master plan is useful to check against progress or deviation from it at regular intervals.
This year, it was decided to bring in a system of measuring performance in all provinces as well as marking their contribution to Cricket South Africa (both positive and negative).
I went as a guest speaker to talk on the challenges faced by a modern cricketer in the current cricket landscape.
Youngsters, increasingly, will have to make more choices more often. Between the various forms of the game; between building a base for the future even as they are playing and leaving the future to take care of itself; between wanting to be the best they can be and merely ensuring security for the future; between on-field challenges and off-field temptations; between taking adequate rest and pushing the body to the limit.
Youngsters will need to be mentored. This means that we will need to put into effect a body that will absorb the insecurities of the emerging player. I am glad that the BCCI has taken the lead here.
During a spin clinic I conducted for the younger players, I stressed the importance of changing the mindset in a country of fast bowlers. Modern captains tend to hanker after the 'mystery' spinner, someone who appears different from the normal, yet the success of an off-spinner like England's Graeme Swann is testimony to the effectiveness of the old-fashioned.
Swann is the classical off-spinner who does not need to experiment with the doosra. Subtle variations can be a theme for batsmen too, as Virender Sehwag is demonstrating in Sri Lanka. His unbeaten 99 might have attracted attention for what didn't happen at the end rather than during, but it was a wonderful exhibition of a restrained effort that still managed to impose itself on the bowling.
Would I have bowled a no-ball to deny a batsman a century? Probably not. But, in the end, I think the young off-spinner Randiv was hanged by the media --- and would have learnt an important lesson. The cricket field is a lonely place when you get it wrong.